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World cup: All hopes on the Two Stars

Four years back India entered the world cup chase amidst lot of expectations and pressure. The expectations didn't go in vain. Team India played and conquered the world battle. But this year the scenario is completely different. There are no big stars. There are no match winners. But Indian fans still have the hopes of retaining the cup. This is only because of two stars, Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and young and energetic batsman Virat Kohli.

"Captaincy increases the pressure on any player. It affects his form"... this is a general perception. But before becoming the captain, Dhoni played 88 matches and scored 2477 runs with an average of 44.23. But after taking charge as captain his batting average is 57.1 in 169 matches with a total of 5768 runs. "Any batsman will score more runs batting first. But while chasing his average and score decreases because of the pressure"... this is also an other common statement. But while batting first Dhoni's batting average is 53.45 in 116 innings and scored 4651 runs. Without much variation his average while chasing is 51.34 in 132 innings. These two examples are enough to describe the ability of the Indian skipper.

No cricket fan can forget his match winning knock in 2011 world cup finals against Sri Lanka under huge pressure. Apart from that Dhoni batted extremely well while batting second on many occasions. When there is a huge target with less wickets in hand, Dhoni stood as wall and completely changed the scenario in several matches. Dhoni's career average is 52.51. But in the matches India won his average is nearly 74. It clearly explains that he had played key role in many of the match winning performances by Team India.

Although Dhoni got retired from Test cricket, there are huge expectations from him in ODI and T20 format. Defending Champion India's chances in world cup will clearly depend on the way Dhoni leads his team and his batting. No doubt he is a best finisher and captain Indian team has ever seen. But with lot of new comers in team Dhoni will definitely face a lot of pressure. Lets see what our captain cool is going to do.

In the last world cup amidst Sachin, Sehwag, Gambhir, Yuvraj, Raina and Dhoni, Virat is just a normal young and emerging player with no expectations. But now the scene is different. When someone talks about India's batting, Virat is the first name that comes out. He gained a lot of experience in these four years with a number of match winning performances to his credit. He is also in the current list of best batsmen in the world.

Similar to Dhoni, Virat also plays extremely well under pressure while chasing. 14 of his 21 centuries came while chasing hefty targets. Out of 6232 runs he made, 4049 came while batting second. This shows that he is a great finisher too. Only few world class batsmen will have an average of over 50 after playing more than 150 matches and Virat is one among them. Kohli's strike rate is more than 90 in ODI's and is known for his consistency. Though in the last Tri series he didn't bat up to the mark, the expectations on his world cup performance are still high.

Coming to other members, Rohit is a talented guy, but no one can predict his form. Rahane has consistency, but still didn't achieve the status of match winner. Raina is experienced but now a days he is out of form. In this situation the responsibility of building partnerships and leading the batting is on Virat. Lets hope for the best performance by men in Blue in Australia and New Zealand. All the best Team India!

News Posted: 13 February, 2015
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