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1 6Mar 2019

Is India's 2019 squad better than World Cup-winning 2011 team?

Can India replicate 2011 World Cup heroics?

In 2011 edition of the ICC World Cup, India under former skipper MS Dhoni scripted a fairytale by lifting the trophy after 28 years.

Team India beat Sri Lanka in the finale to cap off a stupendous achievement.

Eight years later, India under Virat Kohli is gearing up for the 2019 edition of the coveted tourney.

Here we compare the two squads.

In context

Can India replicate 2011 World Cup heroics?

India's 15-member squad to be announced next month

The Indian team for the World Cup will be announced next month. But the core of the side is almost fixed. Only a couple of places in the 15-member squad will be decided, as senior cricketer Dinesh Karthik could come in for Rishabh Pant.

Like 2011, India's top three batsmen are world class

Top three

Like 2011, India's top three batsmen are world class

In 2011, Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir formed the top three.

The three stars played an instrumental role in the tournament.

In 2019, we will have Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and skipper Virat Kohli.

Rohit and Dhawan have gone on to become a world-class opening pair.

Kohli is the world's best batsman right now.

Verdict: Top three, of both squads, are comparable.

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Middle order

This time the middle order is significantly weak

In 2011, the middle order was formed by players like Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Dhoni and Suresh Raina.

Yuvi was India's hero in the tourney and Dhoni played the match-winning innings in the final.

In 2019, India have issues with the number four position.

Ambati Rayudu isn't consistent. Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav form the crux.

Verdict: The 2011 side was way better in this aspect.

Can all-rounder Pandya match Yuvi as the all-rounder?

Pandya

Can all-rounder Pandya match Yuvi as the all-rounder?

In 2011, Yuvraj Singh was the main all-rounder and he scored 362 runs, besides picking up 15 scalps.

This time we will have Hardik Pandya. He is more of a bowling all-rounder, who can play big shots.

It will be important for him to take a leaf out of Yuvi's notebook.

Verdict: As things stand, Pandya looks no match to Yuvraj at his peak.

Bowling

The bowling looks better than 2011

India's bowling department, in 2011, revolved around pacer Zaheer Khan, who took 21 scalps.

Munaf Patel supported him. Ashish Nehra and S Sreesanth were rotated

Harbhajan Singh was the main spinner. He picked up nine wickets.

In 2019, we have Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in pace attack. Kuldeep Yadav is the main spinner.

Verdict: The current squad has better bowling attack.

A look at the bench strength

Bench strength

A look at the bench strength

In 2011, India had back-up spin options such as R Ashwin and Piyush Chawla.

The two picked eight wickets between them.

Pathan lacked the aggression in the six matches he played.

Sreesanth was poor and Nehra did his job when called upon.

In 2019, spinner Yuzvendra Chahal is prolific.

All-rounder Vijay Shankar is decent with KL Rahul and Karthik adding base in batting.

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