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ICC World Cup 2011: Should India bat first or second?

Fans wave the Indian flag during a match again...

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Woes with  the bowling attack has led to critics lending suggestions as to how the men in blue can overcome their travails.

There is, however, no need to make a mountain of a molehill.

There is less to be concerned about than other teams like South Africa, England,Pakistan or Sri Lanka. Australia and the West Indies are notable , even surprising,  exceptions. Maybe playing to your strengths even in alien conditions has its merits.

India have not exhibited their best but have continued their winning ways. It has not been great watching but it’s been effective.

At the end of the day, it’s about getting the job done. Winning ugly is still winning.

Worries in the bowling and fielding departments will persist until the boys pull up their socks and effect a (minor) turnaround.

What has really got my goat is the suggestion that India should chase instead of batting first—defying simple cricketing logic.

To my dismay, Michael Holding has joined the chorus claiming that India will be better served batting second.

Let’s look at whether statistics support this clarion call.

Over the past two years  when India have played at home, they have batted first in seven games and chased 12 times.

They have won 13 and lost six, with one no-result.

They are 5/7 in matches batting first.

They are 8/12 in matches batting last.

Figures given do not include the World Cup warm-up games or the first four games in this tournament.

Losses batting first have come against Sri Lanka and Australia—one each.

Losses batting second are against Australia and South Africa, three and one respectively.

Draw your own conclusions.

Have a great day.

Quote of the day:
There are lots of ways of being miserable, but there’s only one way of being comfortable, and that is to stop running round after happiness. If you make up your mind not to be happy there’s no reason why you shouldn’t have a fairly good time. – Edith Wharton


I have been an IT professional with over 12 years professional experience. I'm an B.Sc. in Statistics, M.Sc in Computer Science (University of Mumbai) and an MBA from the Cyprus International Institute of Management. I'm also a finance student and have completed levels I and II of the CFA course. Blogging is a part-time vocation until I land a full-time position. I am also the author of three books, Those Glory Days: Cricket World Cup 2011, IPL Vignettes and Poems: An Anthology, all available on Amazon Worldwide.


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