- At the outset, let us be very clear that the just concluded 50-over cricket World Cup is monumental in more than one way. When experts from several quarters were hell-bent on writing the obituary of the 50-over one-day internationals courtesy of the T20 onslaught, the World Cup matches aptly mirrored how this format continues to capture the attention and imagination of the fans. Yes, the initial few matches which featured non-Indian teams did attract lesser crowds. But no sooner did the Indian team start displaying attractive, attacking, and awesome performances on the field, than the spectators started thronging to the stadiums in decent numbers cheering the teams. The signs were not only encouraging but also heartening for the overall good of the 50-over format.
PC: Cricket Australia
- The major credit for the way ODIs have gained resurrection in the eyes of the cricket fans must be accorded to Team India and its attacking brand that was on full display right up to the finals. Except for the first league match against the Australians, Team India was in complete command of the proceedings overcoming opposition challenges with panache in subsequent matches. Trust me, having played and watched cricket of all hues for more than four decades, I can vouch with absolute certainty that the way Rohit Sharma commenced his innings set the ball rolling for Team India’s fearless brand of cricket placing the opposition ranks under tremendous pressure right away. Rohit’s no-holds-barred approach to batting was a delight to watch.
- Rohit reminded how the legendary Sachin Tendulkar used to approach the one-dayers in the 1990s and 2000s pulverizing the opposition bowlers with attacking stroke play. Sachin was feared for his effortless, intimidating, and demoralizing stroke-making abilities right at the beginning of the innings. Rohit Sharma’s approach during the World Cup was similar to Sachin’s in scoring freely and accumulating as many runs as possible during the powerplay overs. Whenever Rohit got Team India to a flying start, the following batsmen could take some time to acclimatize to the pitch conditions and build the innings accordingly. Rohit Sharma’s selfless approach to keeping the team before himself enabled Team India to score mammoth totals without any pressure.
PC: Outlook India
- How else Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, and KL Rahul would have notched up impressive hundreds if Rohit had adopted a cautious approach? It is a known fact that India generates the majority of revenue in the cricketing world. If cricket must sustain its popularity, patronage, and revenue-generating potential, humongous Indian fans play an inalienable part. The way Team India went about in the World Cup essentially meant the ODI format would not only sustain but also thrive with a fresh infusion of interest, resources, and following in the coming days. Team India may have faltered in the finals against Australia, but cricket in general was the clear winner reinvigorating the ODI format which was in danger of getting lost amid the lucrative T20 format.