" We won't give it back." is the ideology with which team India is entering the World Cup 2015 journey. This time it will be immensely difficult for India to live up to the expectations especially after it completed a winless tour of Australia and to make things even more challenging the host nation is Australia itself with a part of tournament to be played in New Zealand. Time sure does fly fast, die hard cricket fans were still 2011 hungover and to add to the inebriation 2015 promises to be even more fascinating with new teams like Scotland and UAE in the cup frenzy.
Team India in the past has shown immense grit and passion in winning thriller games, be it the India- England group stage match or the India – Sri Lanka final. But since the coin has two faces, India has seen its performance dwindling. At the end of the last year Indian batting has suffered under the fast pitches of Australia and bowling has gone from bad to worse. However, Team India sure does know how to turn the tides, this is the reason it is ranked second in the ICC ODI rankings. Players like M S Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina have the ability to make any side suffer on their home ground but the whole team needs to perform par their ability to defend the title.
The opening act would be of New Zealand versus Sri Lanka on Saturday at Christchurch and to add to the delight of the viewers, the first match India plays is going to be legendary as India faces Pakistan in its opening match on Sunday at Adelaide. India has never lost to Pakistan in any form of World Cup match be it the twenty-twenty or fifty- fifty, but India should remember that Pakistan would fight hard to make it the first Cup where this legacy ends.
India, Australia and South Africa have the earmarks of being the favourites this time. In the case of Australia, playing on home ground can prove to be a challenging aspect because the pressure of performing in front the home ground is unimaginable. South Africa also known as the chokers will look forward to shed this image and emerge victorious because one of their key players Mr. A B De Villiers just gave a glimpse of his ominous form when he hit the world's fastest century against West Indies. India just needs to stick to basics in order to perform and make a mark this time again. England and New Zealand will for sure give tough competition because just like all other teams they are also entering this scenario with a lot at stake.
A total of fourteen teams are participating this time and this year's World Cup is going to be a 44 day event; twice the length of Olympics and it will take a month for the first quarter final to be played. ICC has decided to make the 2019 event a ten team event. Such duration for a sporting event is tad long and may provide an overdose for some, but cricket is cricket and a religion in India and 44 days might go in a jiffy provided India remains in the contest, which it will.
I would conclude by adding that cricket is not a part and parcel for people of India, instead it is a way of life. If India manages to defend the title, it will surely increase its respect in the world and the people of India will get a reason to rejoice a little from their hectic schedule. So, keeping this in mind I would sign off by saying that "Go, give your best and we Indians are sure, you won't give it back."