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India's turn to dominate world cricket?

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Oliver Brett | 16:01 UK time, Monday, 4 April 2011

Like British politics, world cricket has seen two formidable and dominant dynasties take shape in the last 30 years.

The West Indies, in an uncompromising fashion that may have impressed Margaret Thatcher, were peerless in the 1980s, with their fearsome fast bowlers and that most awe-inspiring batsman, Viv Richards.

When the Windies then spiralled into decline, Tony Blair entered Downing Street at a time when Australia had already taken hold of the sceptre of power that made them the pre-eminent side.

But with the third of Ricky Ponting's three Ashes defeats still fresh in the memory, and two changes of Prime Minister since Blair, a watershed moment has arrived.

I'll leave the politics out of this blog from now on, and instead concentrate on India, whose coronation as World Cup winners on Saturday could put them on course to establish themselves as the next great superpower in world cricket.

India's win was achieved in spite of several factors that could have made their task a tough one in the ICC's flagship event.

Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh, India president Pratibha Devisingh Patil, Munaf Patel and Mahendra Dhoni

Dhoni (right) will not be able to count on the formidable Tendulkar (left) for very much longer (AP)

This was a tournament in which favourites (generally South Africa in recent editions) had not enjoyed a good record. But this time India started as favourites and found a way to win. Furthermore, no previous team had won a final on home soil. Shrugging off that weight of expectation was all the harder for India, whose fans are both notoriously passionate and notoriously fickle.

Mahendra Dhoni's Zen-like serenity, and ability to inure himself to external factors, helped him rise to the challenge with some accomplished captaincy. Dhoni also ended a run of poor form by delivering the coup de grace with the bat against Sri Lanka on Saturday.

His legacy is secured a generation after Kapil Dev, who led an underdog Indian side to glory in 1983, wrote the first chapter in the modern history of Indian cricket.

In Dhoni's case, the journey can go to even bigger and better places and for the next 12 months the onus will be on protecting the number one Test status they earned over the winter.

So how do India's finest players prepare for the important tours of West Indies, England and Australia that lie in wait for them later this year (plus a home series in November against West Indies?) Oh yes. The Indian Premier League starts on Friday. That's right, this Friday... and goes on until 28 May.

With two new franchises, Pune and Kochi, and 74 matches squeezed into less than two months, players will have to suffer a stressful regime of practice-match-hotel-flight (repeat ad nauseam) week-in, week-out.

Remember: in the IPL, the performance of India-qualified players is key. Seven players in each starting side have to be Indians, and there will be no instances of the national board pulling players out to give them a break (as happens in county cricket).

Seven days after the IPL final, India play a Twenty20 international in Trinidad followed by five one-day internationals and three Tests, finishing on 10 July.

Time for a rest after that? Oh no. It's straight on to the tour of England and a warm-up against Somerset starting on 15 July. Quite what shape any of these players will be in come the Lord's Test match on 21 July is anyone's guess.

One way round would be to rest a number of key players for the tour to West Indies. But that could be a dangerous tactic on pitches that have become lifeless, and under new captain Darren Sammy the Windies are showing glimmers of potential.

Cheteshwar Pujara

One for the future: Cheteshwar Pujara has already had a brief taste of Test cricket (Getty)

Either way, Andrew Strauss's England will start that Test at Lord's with a huge in-built advantage on a ground where they are unbeaten in their last 10 Tests.

I mention all this because the single biggest threat to India's bid for world cricket domination is not the quality of their opponents but the daft scheduling.

Administrators everywhere are good at talking a good game when it comes to easing the physical and mental burden on players. But when it comes to agreeing deals with rival boards and broadcasters, the dollar signs tend to loom larger than the latest alarming bulletins from the physio.

Another negative for India is the age of some of their top players. Sachin Tendulkar (37) is playing some of the best cricket of his life in his fourth decade as an international cricketer.

But even the finest wines have a quantifiable shelf-life, and before very long he will have to be replaced. More holes in the batting will open up when Rahul Dravid (38) and VVS Laxman (36) also make way.

There are some very fine young batsmen in India. The 21-year-old Saurabh Tiwary is an extremely exciting player while Cheteshwar Pujara, who has played three Tests, comes with all the right credentials and appears to have a long career in front of him.

Virat Kohli, an important if unspectacular performer in the World Cup, also looks like he could play some fine innings in Test cricket.

At 32, Zaheer Khan is significantly younger than Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman. But he is a fast bowler and the sad truth is that they age faster than batsmen.

Zaheer is also demonstrably the best seamer in both the Test and one-day sides and will require careful management in the years to come. Ishant Sharma looks the best of the rest, while too many others (notably Irfan Pathan and RP Singh, plus Sreesanth, to an extent) have seen highly promising careers fizzle out alarmingly.

Irfan Pathan and RP Singh

Injuries and indifferent form have stalled the careers of Irfan Pathan and RP Singh (Getty)

The list of other young fast bowlers coming through is a thin one, but that's hardly surprising. The Indian nursery is effectively the IPL. And if you're a young bowler trying to rise to the surface then having to bowl at the most aggressive batsmen in the world in 20-overs-a-side cricket is far from ideal.

Scoff all you like at the County Championship. But when England were forced to adopt Plan B in the Ashes and produce Tim Bresnan and Chris Tremlett halfway through the series, they acquitted themselves very well indeed.

If fast bowling is a concern for India, spin bowling is not, or should not be. Harbhajan Singh (30) has many miles left on his clock, and other spinners like Pragyan Ojha, Piyush Chawla and Ravichandran Ashwin all look pretty useful.

With their enormous resources, both financial and in terms of raw numbers of players, and the belief the World Cup win should give them, India have a fighting chance of doing something similar to Clive Lloyd's West Indians and Steve Waugh's Aussies.

But they must do so at a time of innumerable, compressed tours, and amid the distractions of the IPL - plus the imminent retirement of some superstar players. It will take something very special indeed for Dhoni's India to become a benchmark for long-term cricketing excellence.

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Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    The scheduling over the past 5 years has been awful globally. India's batting has a bright future (kohli and pujara look like very technically correct players with promising careers). The fast bowling department is a serious concern. As mentioned in your blog lots of unfulfilled potential. Sreesanth massively inconsistent, RP Singh has been hit with injuries, sharma seems to have lost his potency, Irfan Pathan's decline has made for really sad viewing. This common theme suggests that once these players make it into the test arena there is a lack of encouragement and support.

  • Comment number 2.

    Interesting article, however (even though I'm a huge Indian supporter to the extent that I will be flying in from Houston to London to watch the first test at Lords) honestly I'm not sure if dominance in the way WI or Australia exhibited over the last 3 decades is good for the sport. I much prefer parity in sport to dynasties. That being said, the hardest thing for India will be to replace SRT-VVS-Rahul when they retire in order to reach anywhere close to that type of dominance. The technique of the younger batsman, particularly in seam, swing and bouncy conditions will be severely tested. None of the young guys seemed to cope well in those conditions in South Africa recently. That being said I'm not so pessimistic about the bowling. For three reasons - the first being I think if Zaheer's work load can be "managed", where he is used more exclusively for tests, his career can be extended for perhaps another 4 years. Further bowlers like Sree & Ishant perform a lot better outside India. Finally (and this is just speculation) I have a feeling that we have not seen the last of Irfan Pathan. If he can return to anywhere near the form he exhibited in the Pakistan tour of 2004, India's pace bowling will be just fine.

  • Comment number 3.

    If you need rest just take it.Just like Dhoni did some time back....

    India should send 2nd team for meaning less England tour if needed.Young players could learn lots from senior players by playing with them in IPL.

  • Comment number 4.

    One would hope that it isn't India's time to dominate world cricket. I don't know how much more of this i can take - i never knew India had so many fans in England. I wonder how many will turn out to "support" their team in the test series vs England in the summer. I'll certainly be there, showing my love for the three lions.

    A couple of things sat uneasy with me during this world cup. The first was the semi-final between India and Pakistan. This match seemed to be supported on religious lines, especially amongst people who i had the misfortune to know - they saw it as an opportunity to get one over on followers of another faith. That was quite shameless. Thank goodness we do not have a similar situation when supporting the England cricket team.

    Also, why do a lot of people with indian/pakistani extraction support those two teams, even though they were born and raised in England, and also support English football teams (albeit only two: Man Utd and Liverpool) and also the England football team? Is it because India are no good at football and have a weak domestic league? The support was riddled with contradictions.

  • Comment number 5.

    India doesnt have the bowling firepower at the moment to dominate like WI/Australia did.

  • Comment number 6.

    India will not dominate world cricket. In the sub-continent, India is a decent team but in all honesty Pakistan should have won that semi-final easily. India was unable to cope with Pakistan's bowling attack and even despite the hundreds of dropped catches, the ridiculous batting and tactics by Pakistan, they still came within a whisker of winning. And that was a team without so many of its major players for one reason or another.

    Secondly, the way SA destroyed India late in the match also shows that India's batting is feeble against real pace, bounce and movement.

    The interesting test will come when India come to England for the test series. I dont see them winning it...

    There is no world domination for India...

  • Comment number 7.

    It would be a pretty impressive achievment for Tendulkar to be entering his 'fourth decade in international cricket' given that he is just thirty-seven years old . . . .

  • Comment number 8.

    India are a very long way from domination. Sure they won the world cup and were the best team in it, but they were still beaten once, almost twice. The batting is undoubtedly up there with the best ever. However, The fast bowlers, which have underpinned the dominant eras, do not exist. Even the spin bowlers aren't exceptional. Although they will remain a very tough team to beat in tests for some time as they have such a great batting line up, at the moment they are just about the best team in the world, and they've got tough tours to England and Australia which could change that.

    Re No 7 - Sachin played 80s, 90s, 00s and 10s = Four decades :) Although only 22 years so it does exaggerate things slightly.

  • Comment number 9.

    the answer to this is obvious - no. India have one good bowler, in zaheer, and no great bowlers. The australian and west indies sides had great bowlers. They were distinguished by their fearsome bowling attacks. India will rightly start as underdogs in the test series in england.

    There is no team that particularly stands out in world cricket at the moment. South africa have the best bowlers, but have been unable to turn their advantage into consistent performances. that said, they seem the most likely team to start dominating. SA's bowlers are far, far better than india's.

  • Comment number 10.

    England were knackered in the world cup (after a long Ashes tour) yet they still nearly beat India. Their also a different side in test cricket. I back England to win the test series on home soil

  • Comment number 11.

    "There is no team that particularly stands out in world cricket at the moment. South africa have the best bowlers"

    But they don't have a matchwinning batting lineup and it is being able to produce decent defendable totals or to chase down a set given target score to win a match is what it comes down to in the end for a World Cup/T20 Tournament.

  • Comment number 12.

    "England were knackered in the world cup (after a long Ashes tour) yet they still nearly beat India. Their also a different side in test cricket. I back England to win the test series on home soil"

    India will probably beat England in the summer, as their strong batting lineup (Dravid,Sehwag,Tendulkar,Laxman,Gambir,Dhoni) will not collapse like a pile of cards when facing the England bowlers like what Australia's batsmen consistently did a lot of during the recently concluded ashes series down under.

  • Comment number 13.

    i thouroughly enjoyed watching the icc world cup 2011 it was amazing!!! all hail INDIA! what a brilliant performance by a great team, all throughout the tournament they showed the determination to win along with the team togetherness it proves why they were tournament fav's even though aussies lifted the cup since 1999..i will now mention why they will domonate. 1) the fielding of this side has vastly improved 2)bowling has been great with yuvi now showing why he's the worlds best all rounder along with zaheer leading the attack 3) batting- well not going to comment on this(you get 300runs and we'll get 301runs) simplzzz!! all of these put together shows why india brushed aside all the big teams easliy such as the aussies..pakistan, sri lanka..o btw the semi final was VERY comfortable :-)

  • Comment number 14.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 15.

    I'm sorry but I don't seem to understand which side of the bed do the above 1-12 wake up to everyday. Is it bad cereal or cold sandwiches ?!!? which ones do I blame?! How can anyone discredit a group of professional sportsman or even disregard a nation and its cricket team who have just won themselves a WORLD CUP!! especially to those who are blogging, they have no credit to themselves but without even a sniff of a thought, having no credit to analysis and stats simply just disregard a nation and its cricket team, not sparing a thought that it has been just over two days since the world cup completed!!

    Here are some general facts I would like readers to read and not jump to conclusions with my pointers here...
    Its goes into a descending order of pure success & disappointment & has to be digested !!

    1. India has won two world cups. One in ENGLAND (ha!) and other at HOME!!
    2. England has never won a World Cup !!
    3. England in the recently concluded edition of the world cup, although drawing the match with India, lost to two minnows in the same world cup (first team to have done so I think)
    4. Didn't even reach the semis, crashed out of the quarter finals !!
    5. I think India will beat England this summer but will be too tired to fight the real test of pace down under !!

    I apologize for maybe hurting anyones sentiments about their patriotism or passion for the sport or nation, if so, but I would like you to understand the moral of the above blog.

    Please check your own backyard before judging others even if your entitled to an opinion in a reputed website like BBC sport ! I came to this blog because I have most respect for BBC and for the British people but i'm awfully disappointed by the comments made by some and hope the above readers attract more positive energy of the universe in their lives!!

  • Comment number 16.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 17.

    As someone pointed out, the technique of the new crop of batsmen against swing/pace bowling needs to improve a lot. Thanks to IPL and scheduling these guys never get a chance to play in the English counties like Tendulkar, Dravid, VVS and Ganguly did.

  • Comment number 18.

    #15,
    A key point is that England are a more than half-decent test side, who will be playing at home in English conditions. For whatever reasons, England remain a Jeckyl-and-Hyde side when it comes to the difference between their test performances and ODI performances. I think they will win the test series against India. If they play an ODI series then India will probably win that. I don't think India will dominate world (test) cricket, because they don't seem to care about it as much as some of the other Test-status nations.

  • Comment number 19.

    No 15.
    i really fail to see your point, if you could explain to me where in the previous posts there is a "disregard for a nation and its cricket team who have just won themselves a WORLD CUP!!" i would be grateful. It seems to me that the posters (some of whom have identified themselves as india fans) are merely expressing their opinion that india will not go on to dominate world cricket for a sustained period like the great Australian and Windies teams who each dominated for over a decade. I fail to see how this constitutes a disregard for the indian nation or their world cup win.

    Your attack on the England team is also unwarranted because those few posters who have mentioned England have merely pointed out that due to the schedule problems mentioned in the blog and the relative strength of England at home in Test cricket, the England Tour is a big test for India. This would seem to me like a fair and balanced point unlike your jingoistic facts ("India has won two world cups. One in ENGLAND (ha!) and other at HOME!!)

    Sorry guys, rant over.

  • Comment number 20.

    What is this all about?..meaningless article, because India are world champion, more precisely world beaters ;):)..I know u guys cannot accept that..but let me just tell you...THAT IS THE FACT...Take a deep breath, sit back and think about the ways you can improve cricket in your country and gain some credentials to discuss about the world champions INDIA. World cup final is just done and dusted and only two days into the celebration...how dare are you to discuss about time india are going to dominate world cricket.Winning the world Cup is the most important thing, Dominating the world is defferent. There might be another world champion in 2015,,,or it might be still India..who knows..That result is irrelavent here...if you are from a country which never have a world cup in their rankings ...then forget about looking through others windows...i would say concentrate on your own destiny.
    About Indias bowling and batting; who asked you to express worries? well even if you have worries ,its your problem...Indian cricket authorities or spectaters are fine with it ...at the moment we are cherrishing the win...we will take all the worries as it comes..right?..
    Can I ask you a question?..who is there in the world now to dominate cricket like WI & AUS did? My answer is nobody. Some have batting power,but no bowling power, other few have bowling power but no batting power to score a huge total.SA still have the CHOKERS tag...they choked against a paltry England and lost,again they choked against NZ and lost.As long as they choke,world cup remains a dream for them. England are still growing and it will take another 10 or 15 yrs before they mature enough for a famous triumph.Australia are devoloping ther game to be a formidable domestic team!! haha.
    Overall this article is pointless and needless...Whether India dominate or not ,its entirely up to their capabilities..As long as they win games home and away their dominance will continuie. In the meantime other countries need to devolop their tactics to beat them day in day out. Until that happens in front of your eyes please be quite and accept WORLD CHAMPION INDIA.

  • Comment number 21.

    #15 also i was under the impression that Sandwiches are supposed to be cold, otherwise are they not toasties?

  • Comment number 22.

    Remember everyone, the three forms of cricket currently played are 20/20 where England are world champions, ODIs where India have just won an excellent but far too long world cup and Test matches where India are ranked #1 in the world and where England have been playing their best cricket for decades over the last 2 years.

    Each form of cricket is so different that it may as well be classed as a different sport and there doesn't really seem to be any team who's dominant in any particular length of game at the moment, yes India are obviously the best ODI side at the moment and possibly the best Test side, but rankings only tell half the tale when talking about a game where you only play each other every few years.

    I guess we'll see just how strong India are over the next few years, this summer in England will be a BIG test for them and they are currently about as good as any other country in the world, but I doubt that they'll dominate in the way Australia or the West Indies did.

  • Comment number 23.

    @ ReallyReal....you are still talking about the past where teams dominated. let me just tell you one thing, there is nothing wrong even if one team can not dominate the world.The important thing is to win games for your country and so to announce your love and affection.Then the spectators will follow the game.You must understand that buddy.There is no point in conducting a debate whether India Dominate or not.As long as they are winning matches home and away ,Indian cricket will blossom.
    Let me just tell you ...England are lacking just that ..you may kindly start a debate on that and spit your venom. Not towards a succesful board and country which generate income to the international cricket. As long as indian spectators are happy to follow their team, India will be there in the international arrena. They will come and beat you in your back-yard.England are a good side ...I am looking forward for a wonderfull series.

  • Comment number 24.

    Tom Glasgow, your comment and many others on this post seem to have grasped the wrong point of the article and have acted overly defensive about it, I'm actually debating the article, I doubt very much that any team will ever dominate all forms of cricket again and even if they do, it will only be for a few years at most and not decades like Australia or the West Indies did.

    The important thing is NOT as you say, "to win games for your country", but to play your best and enjoy the game, cricket has already become too business like, where results mean more than sportsmanship, fair play and honest endeavour.

    I'll leave the spitting of venom (as you put it) to the billion or so on the sub-continent who can't see past a win or loss and attack each others teams (and nations) with extreme prejudice, check 606 if you don't believe me, personally I'm just happy to watch a sport played at its highest level, regardless of which countries are playing.

  • Comment number 25.

    some posters seem to have taken offence, but I don't see anyone saying india are a bad side. the article is asking if india will go on to dominate cricket. that assessment would have to be largely based on test cricket, which is the ultimate form of the game.

    people are merely pointing out that there is no evidence to suggest that india will go on to dominate in test cricket. they've never won a series in SA or Aus and they don't have a particularly good bowling attack. In test terms, India's side is older, but no better, than SA or Eng. So SA or Eng are more likely to dominate in the years to come.

    Even if you want to talk about odi cricket, the comparison is revealing. the australian team that dominated didn't lose a match in 2003 or 2007 and was consistently ranked no.1. India lost and tied a match in this tournament and are still not ranked no.1. So they have evidently not been dominating the format. They lost their last series to south africa and lost to them in this tournament.

    Saying India are a 'good' team is self-evident, but this article isn't about that and nobody needs convincing of that. This article is asking if india will dominate and people are saying that they won't, there's no need to be offended.

  • Comment number 26.

    Let us Not Forget the contribution of Rohit Sharma to indian Cricket in coming years

  • Comment number 27.

    Just want to mention a small point: India did not acquire #1 Test rank this winter, but it was acquired in last winter (Dec. 2009) i.e. more than a year ago and have been ranked that way till now. If they maintain the current form, I do not see the series with WI, Eng and even Aus later in the year having any bearing on their ranking. No other team other than Australia had that ranking for that long - so if India maintains Test status #1 this whole year into the next, then they have definitely made a great leap in ensuring their domination.

    But I do not think they have all the necessary ingredients to be called the best ever team like WI and Aus unless they improve bowling resources. For some unknown reason, they had immense bowling talent in late 2000s and then suddenly everyone vanished for various reasons. Also they need to give youngsters more opportunity for batting as a replacement for the trio who may retire soon. I would think they should send Kohli, Yuvraj, Pujara, Sharma for WI tour and make them play there (at least one match or on rotation basis).

  • Comment number 28.

    @6 Smelling Jealousy here mate. Well said the saying "The grapes are sour when you dont get them!!" If your team was so good they should have beaten India in semis. SRT dint ask them to drop 4 catches of his, they themselves did it. Nor did Dhoni asked Afridi to set up this batting line up the way they did. Or nor did Zak or Nehra request Misbah to play the way he did. Neither did Bhajj requested the the Akmals to get bowled. Mate Pakistan dug the grave for themselves and got burried with in.

    And coming to the ever choking South Africans, If they cant cope up the pressure they and perform in crunch problems they dont deserve to win the World Cup. As they are world wide referred to correctly "The Chokers."

    And lets not talk about England..Loosing to Ireland and Bangladesh was humiliating.

  • Comment number 29.

    with the current bowling attack it is remarkable that india managed to win the world cup. Talk of world dominance may be pre-mature. Cricket also needs to cleanse itself of the allegations of match fixing. Too many shock results and sudden changes in match situation witnessed during this world cup for comfort.

  • Comment number 30.

    1. It was great to see India win the World Cup at home with all the excitement that generated.

    2. England playing Test Cricket in English conditions will beat India relatively comfortably.

    3. The schedules are mad. England stood not a chance in the World Cup after the previous twelve months of action they've had. A situation India will understand themselves by the time they arrive here in the summer. This is very sad. It would be great to see test teams in a similar state of preparedness when they play, but it never is the case.

    4. Australia, England, India and South Africa are all good enough to beat eachother in tests. Pakistan, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and the Windies are all able to upset any of the four teams stronger than them if things go their way. How brilliant is that? I wouldn't even want England to dominate in the way the Aussies and Windies have done; this way is just so much more exciting.

  • Comment number 31.

    In a one word answer, No.

    India are one of the top sides and in the one day form could well begin to dominate, driven on by the experience gained by it's players in the IPL. However I can't see them getting to that level in tests, certainly not with the imminent departure of Tendulkar, Laxman and Dravid.

    Without them the batting is only good, not great and the bowling attack is frankly poor for test match level.

  • Comment number 32.

    gotta to love some people who say India are about as good as S.Africa and England atm in test cricket. India have been ranked no1 for over a year. S.Africa have been atrocious for a while now that have not won in any of their last three home series!!!! England have beaten a collection of teams who are nothing special and all of a sudden are potentially the best test side! give me a break. The ashes might be important historically but in reality I would back most sides against this aussie team they are atrocious. The upcoming tour of England by India will be close. People talk about Indian batsmen against pace bowling! You dont get more responsive pitches than Perth and Durban, India won both test matches. Yes Indian batsmen are worse against fast bowling but fortunately they are still a lot better than the opposition.
    The second ridiculous claim is India's poor bowling, but everytime they leave the subcontinent they perform as well as the opposition, just ask the S.Africans.
    If I had to bet my house on the winner between Anderson/Broad/Tremlett/Swan against Sachin/gambhir/sehway/laxman/dravid/pujara/dhoni and Z.Khan/Ishant/Sreesanth/Harbhajan vs Strauss/cook/bell/pietersen et al I know where I would put my cash. An India win with Zaheer taking wickets for fun.

  • Comment number 33.

    India never gonna be a real super power like West indies and Australia. but they are going to be the toughest side in the world to beat. This article, addressing a positive and relevent question is been misjudgeed by most of the respondents.Most of the comments reflect the frustration of england supporters and their defiant attitude to accept India's glory...

  • Comment number 34.

    I think the Test series will be close this summer. Getting 20 wickets AND outscoring India in 5 days may well seem a tall order for England and that's assuming the weather plays ball. There could easily be a couple of draws, so getting that first victory is crucial to both sides. Funny how that first Test at Lords always used to be a defeat for England, but that we are now unbeaten in 10 Tests at Lords. If England can start with a win, then it's time for the rain dance!

  • Comment number 35.

    Firstly, congratulations India on proving that you are a very good side - #1 in the Test rankings and winning the 50 over World Cup.

    Is this the start of a period of significant dominance? Unlikely, at least not on the scale that the Windies of the 70s/80s and Australia of the 90s/00s managed.
    My expectation is that they will continue to be an exceptional side in Sub-Continental conditions and in limited overs internationals, but there are a few concerns regarding performance in Test matches in either swing/seam conditions (i.e. England and NZ) and on faster bouncy wickets (Aus / SA).

    1 - Batting. The established and technically correct players like Tendulkar and Dravid are coming towards the end of their career. The young guys coming through to replace them have talent but have been schooled in the IPL and tend to play hard at the ball - good for ODI, but in a test against a swinging and seaming ball will keep the keeper and slips interested. Also, the IPL and the other scheduling means that they will get little if any opportunity to learn about playing in overseas conditions.

    2 - Seam / pace bowling. Has never been an Indian strength (wasn't there a joke about the tradition of Indian seamers who ran in faster than they bowled?), and although Zaheer is an intelligent bowler, success in overseas tests will need performances from at least two other pace bowlers.

    I think some Indian supporters are in for a surprise when they reach England if they think we will play as badly in the Tests as we did in the WC. Contrary to our performance there, we are a strong bowling team at home and an exceptional fielding side. It will almost certainly be a close series.

  • Comment number 36.

    #7, I have to defend Oliver here Tendulkar has played in the 80s, 90s, 00s and now the 10s. Therefore he has entered his "fourth decade of international cricket". However, the thing about British politics was utterly pointless.

    The rest was good though!

  • Comment number 37.

    Thanks for a lively debate.

    Just to highlight two points.

    2. It's interesting, I don't think the West Indies dominance was a bad thing for cricket, they seemed to win over so many fans globally by their sheer brilliance, like Brazil in football. The Australian dominance was a bad thing however, they were barely threatened in the 03 and 07 World Cups. No fault of theirs, they were just too good!

    7. Tendulkar debuted for international cricket in the 80s. He has also, of course, played in the 90s, 00s and 10s. Four decades!

  • Comment number 38.

    India have earned their plaudits not just recently but over the last few years and it will be interesting to see if they've peaked or will carry-on this form with the (insane) schedule ahead of them.

    It appears that from an IPL & ODI base India should dominate internationally with test strength potentially tailing off as the current crop of players (nee legends) retire. Both England and India will play tough series before they meet.

    Here's hoping for a classic summer that will decide who is in the ascendancy in all forms of international cricket.

  • Comment number 39.

    I dot not believe that it is just a mere coincidence that the emergence of India as an economic power (from about the mid 90s) has coincided with their cricketing emergence.

    It is a fact that money begets success in sports and for that reason,Manchester United will never decline in the near future and West Indies will never reach their past glory.

    What money has done in India is that corporate India ,flush with funds,have heavily invested in cricket ina one sport nation which has done a world of good for Indian cricket.The IPL exposure has meant that the likes of Gambir and Kohli are unfazed when playing Steyn or Murali in front of big crowds or in pressure situations.

    There was a time when cricket was confined to big cities only but today we have an Indian captain from Ranchi and knock out WC matches in Ahmedabad and Mohali.

    What therefore is emerging is a confident set of new Indian cricketers from all corners of a huge and populous nation and the likes of Dravis and Lakshman will be replaced (though not Tendulkar who is a once in a life time cricketer).

    Whether India will dominate like Aus or WI is debatable but that they will be there or thereabouts at the very top in the years to come is indisputable.

  • Comment number 40.

    If England win both home Test series this Summer, they are the world number 1 Test side in all but name. India's number 1 ranking would be a shallow and meaningless statistic, with nothing to back it up.

  • Comment number 41.

    @ Comment 4 Nav Sandhu,

    I completely agree with the semi-final match between India and Pakistan, although the rivalry is fierce you often see the supporters going overboard when they see their team win. I has the misfortunes of reading some of the bad fb statuses when the match ended. It has always been more than a game when these two teams compete and it was even more so as these teams hadnt played each other in a while.

    A lot of people born and raised here support India/Pakistan as their roots are from there ( fron parents or grandparents) and they have been raised supporting them even though they were born here. Also a lot of people support football teams here because I cant quite remember the last time India or Pakistan football team was televised on BBC or SkySports. If they would be I am sure they would get the support.

    A really good blog, being an avid supporter of the Indian cricket team I have my doubts about their dominance but this transition has to occur now and I am looking forward to the cutting edge India with a new coach.

  • Comment number 42.

    Not to mention the fact that England are already the world number 1 T20 side in the world and the English T20 was of a far higher standard than the IPL was last year.

    English Finals Day had:

    Swann (World T20 Champion), Broad (World T20 Champion), Bopara (World T20 Champion), ten Doeschate, Sidebottom (World T20 Champion), Nannes (World T20 Finalist),, Briggs, Ervine, Pollard, Patel, Trescothick, Thomas, Bravo, Buttler, Karthik, Kieswetter (World T20 Champion), D.Hussey (World T20 Finalist), Razzaq. Some of the greatest T20 players in the world all on 1 day.

    IPL Semis & Finals had:

    Pandey, Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Uthappa, Duminy, Fernando, Nayar, Dhawan, Rayudu, Vijay, Jakati, Anirudha, Albie Morkel, RP Singh, Harmeet Singh, Suman, old man Gilchrist, Sumanth etc. etc.

    No marks, has-beens and kids who've done nothing!

  • Comment number 43.

    Whooooo !!!!!!
    I still have not got over the World Cup win and hence will not enter the fray.
    But yes I do feel the word "dominance" is a bit premature.
    Indian fans would like their team to "dominate" - the wish is natural but in reality today's game has matured. Other teams catch up faster and players go up the learning curve faster. After each game the batting and bowling of each player is analysed. Opponents game styles and strategies are analysed and dissected as never before - all thanks to technology. It is difficult to "dominate" in the literal sense.
    Hence one should take this event to event, series to series, and year to year.
    For the present India has won the Cup. That is good enough for me. I have no issues with those who wish to point that we are not that good to dominate over the long term. Maybe we aren't. And after all there is a valid point being on the imminent retirement of the seniors.

    But for the time being please allow us some gloating. :-D

  • Comment number 44.

    To all english fans I just have two words - Jelly beans

  • Comment number 45.

    The close runners-up for this CWC contest should have been the English team who have 'tied' with India and in one way they should have beaten Srilanka had they not chosen to bat first(or lost the toss call),both India and England field a side selected from all corners of their lager areas of cricket playing and loving people of single land

  • Comment number 46.

    There are so many ill-informed comments on this board that I felt the urge to correct a few people. The reoccurring them is that non-Indians seem to think that the Indian team is good only at limited overs cricket and that they’ve acquired their no. 1 test status solely through their dominance in test matches played in India; the Indians read this and go off on a jingoistic rant that'd be amusing if it were not so frequent.

    It used to be the case that India dominated in India, but got thrashed on fast-paced seaming wickets away from home. Most Indian fans knew this as the 'usual drill,' and would switch off them India travelled. When I first got into cricket, India had a poor record even in Zimbabwe, who, while admittedly a better team then than they are now, were test’s cricket cannon fodder.

    This has changed in recent years, especially over the last 10. What’s changed is that India are now far better at playing away, but (and this is often missed) as other teams have improved against slow bowling, also beatable at home. In the past decade there have been two Eng-Ind series in England: a 3 match series in ’07 that India won 0-1 and a 4 match series in ’02 that was drawn 1-1. England haven’t beaten India in a test series, either home or away, since 1996. In India, England lost narrowly in 2009 (1-0), and drew 1-1 in ’06. The last time Eng were thrashed in India also goes back a long way, 1993 they lost 3-0 – which reflects my earlier assertion, that outsiders have gotten better at playing on the subcontinent. There are no longer any guarantees, whether it's Eng-Ind or Ind-Eng, both are now likely to be closely fought. I could go into why this is, but then we'd be here for a while.

    The pattern against test countries is similar: India, accustomed to beating Australia at home, would barely offer the Aussies a match down under. No more is that the case. The recent series against RSA is also indicative of the same pattern. I could post detailed stats for these teams as I’ve done above for England, but I’ve better things to do. If you dispute this pattern, just look up the stats before commenting – they’re just a click away on Cricinfo. The other thing to do is compare Indian batting averages, averages at home with away; the disparity is now no greater than it is for other test teams - it used to be colossal in the early 90s for all but a few exceptional batsmen. The most notable exception being Tendulkar, hence the 'he's carried India on his shoulders for so many years...' comment from Kohli.

    So, are India now set to dominate? This is a silly question, as it’s being posed in the debate. We all know that while India are the best test team at present, the disparity between them and other teams isn’t all that great. A more meaningful thing to do, rather than comparing this team to WI in the 80s and Aus in the 00s, which is preposterous, is to mean something slightly less by ‘domination’. A better question, therefore, would be whether India can retain their position at the top of this ICC table and for how long. They’re not required to obliterate every team (as WI/Aus did at their peak) to achieve this, but to just repeat their form over the last year or so. Can they do this? Only if they can replace their ageing batsman with players, if not of the same calibre (not expecting another Sachin waiting in the wings), then at least with batsman comfortable on a variety of surfaces. The other, the perennial issue in Indian cricket, is of producing quality seam bowling to reduce India’s reliance on Zaheer Khan.

  • Comment number 47.

    Matty it's that kind jingoistic rhetoric that drives me completely banana's! If you paid any attention to your list you'd know that the two teams that made it to the Final were the sides without the regular International players. It was generally regarded a mistake by Essex and Nottinghamshie to play their internationals rather than their established T20 sides that got them there. Big case in point does anyone remember Dwayne Bravo's contribution to play one game?

    A tournaments quality is judges by the quality of games played not the players that took part.

    As for India's 'coronation' well hat's exactly the kind hyperboyle you'd expect from any national press after a world cup win. In reality India were the best team in tournament in the end (although my money was riding on Sri Lanka) they aren't the best side in the world at the moment as it in my opinion it requires you to be on top in all 3 forms of the international game. India also in my opinion would of had to have won every game in the tournament to be considered truly great at the ODI level which is something they didn't do.

    As for the upcoming test series you'd expect them to win but sadly the West Indian pitches are really that good for getting a result out of just ask from England 2 years ago. They could well draw or loose that series if they get unlucky. Then comes England in England which isn't prospect it was a 3-4 years back they have a great bowling attack for conditions and will be a handful. I predict a very close hard fought series between them, I also expect the same from Sri Lanka. England have not lost a test series in the 2 years since the formation of the Flower/Strauss partnership they aren't going to let that kind of record go away easily.

    So yes India are an extremely good side, the dominant kind they will rule over all Cricketing nations for the next decade? I can't see it really I personally think were going to see England, Sri Lanka, India and South Africa duking at a high level for years to come.

  • Comment number 48.

    39. You do, surely, have a point. Depressingly, money is a vital aspect. There's no way New Zealand, who can barely pay its cricketers a living wage, can ever challenge the top teams

    42. Might not be a popular view, but I agree with you. I frequently compare a decent Twenty20 side with a typical IPL side and find myself wondering whether the English Twenty20 league may be of higher quality.

    45. Do you really think if England had chased in Colombo they would have beaten Sri Lanka? You're probably on your own there!

  • Comment number 49.

    Well written article and a good point regarding scheduling. It has been the bane of India's cricketers for a while, though they seem not to mind it at all. It is not so much the amount of cricket they play- Im guessing that it is as much as any other top nation- just the actual scheduling of it.

    What this means is often not playing warm up matches in a new country they are touring - a cardinal sin, yet this is what the Indian board did when they toured South Africa (a huge test at the best of times, let alone without good prep). It is not the first time. It is great they are playing Somerset when they tour England. There is no need for meaningless ODI matches. If you must just play three instead of five or seven!!

    Insofar as the dominance is concerned, I doubt they key players will last for that long a time. I am really hoping Sehwag, Tendulkar and Zaheer retire from Limited overs cricket altogether and focus on tests and keep us at that no 1 spot. Its guys like them Dhoni and Gambhir who play all three formats of the fame who will suffer due to the intense schedule.

    With regards to younger players coming through- there are some good middle/top order batsmen, Kohli, Pujara have played for India- Ajinkya Rahane is an exciting prospect. Tiwary looks ok. Of course how they fare against swing and bounce overseas remains to be seen.

    The issue is reserve openers and the pace bowling stocks. Who will replace Sehwag if he has his shoulder op and is not fit to face England? Countering Andersons swing will be crucial. And the attack is far far too reliant on Zaheer, where England have great depth to choose from. Ishant is a shadow of the bowler he was 2 years ago, Sreesanth is far too inconsistent. Of the others named- R P Singh has been poor in domestic cricket and Irfan just injured for a long time...I expect Munaf Patel to tour WI and/or England, hopefully Praveen Kumar too. There has been some shoddy selectorial decisions recently in part reflecting the dearth of pace talent- namely Umesh Yadav and 18 yr old Unadkat touring South Africa- neither of whom are ready yet. There are consistent bowlers on the domestic scene- Abhimanyu Mithun, Sudeep Tyagi, Pankaj Singh- who probably need to blooded in sooner rather than later.

  • Comment number 50.

    @ no 4.

    I live in the UK and am Indian. I support India in cricket and Liverpool... so fit nicely into your category.

    BTW, Im proud to be indian and proud to be born in the UK. I choose to support India and Liverpool. I have my reasons... but at the end of the day its my choice, totally upto me! Don't actually even need a good reason!

    Another note... have you seen the number of 'insert your top 4/5/6/etc football team here' that recieve support from Asia, US, etc! Maybe the supporters like the colour of the shirts, the style of play, or whatever... doesn't matter, its upto them.

  • Comment number 51.

    My Indian Test XI in 3/4 years time would be:


    Sehwag (if still fit and firing) or Rahane
    Gambhir
    Kohli
    Pujara
    Yuvraj
    Raina
    Dhoni
    Harbhajan
    Unadkat
    Ishant Sharma
    P Ojha


    You could make a reserve XI with the remaining talent:

    Mukund
    Dhawan
    Badrinath
    Pandey
    Rohit Sharma
    Amit Verma
    Parthiv Patel
    Chawla
    Ashwin
    Mithun
    Vinay Kumar

  • Comment number 52.

    I agree the size of India and the sheer player pool to choose from, along with the IPL allowing more Indian players to show how good they are, added to the overwhelming popularity of the game there with the money and power of the BCCI means all the signs are there for dominance. India were fantastic and deserved winners of the competition and have been the number one test team for a while now. Their batting lineup is frightening and on flat pitches I don't think many teams can get near them. It will be interesting to see how they get on in English conditions with the extra bounce, though I still think a draw is the more likely result of the series.

  • Comment number 53.


    Indian batting legends are all well into their 30's once they retire there will be little to separate them and the rest- in particular Englang and South Africa. No one team will dominate again as the top 4 or so test playing nations are all around the same in terms of ability...

  • Comment number 54.

    @40 Maybe if England keep winning at home their no 1 status would be shallow. Unless you win in India we wont consider you good enough just as you dont consider India to be worth their ranking.

    Last time India came to England they won 1-0 and before that it was 1-1 as pointed out by @46.

  • Comment number 55.

    Admittedly India is now the world cup winner, but I think you are more focused on Indians while consciously or otherwise ignoring their potential rivals like Pakistan. This happens, because success has many fathers - failure is orphan. I hope you understand the few lapses of the Pakistanis resulting in their loss. Otherwise, I can see no future dominance for India. The days of dominance, raaj, dynesty, personality-cult etc have gone.But, sorry to say, you are missing this point of interest for the lovers of the game like me.

  • Comment number 56.

    I should of said there will be a another period of dominance by a team but who it will is almost like Russian Roulette it could be anyone. A side need to have 5 or 6 exceptional players to do it. The Windies had the greatest pace attack of all time plus some outstanding Batman. Australia had some of the greatest batsman of all time and exceptional bowling attack that included possibly the single greatest paceman and leg-spinner in the history of cricket.

    No side including India have that yet a few have rumblings of a great side but they are let down at time by other departments. England for example have a great spinnner, a bowler who in swinging conditions can destroy any batting line up however scare no one when it isn't swinging. An opening partnership that has potential and no. 3 who is solid as a rock. However their middle order is suspect with potential for runs but can just as easily collapse. One of their pacemen has tendency to blow hot and cold especially if things don't go his way and the rest are simply just good but don't have any venom or fear behind them.

    Other top teams have similar problems or are about to loose truly world beating players. It's really a question of who finds those players first.

  • Comment number 57.

    I can see S Africa have a period of test dominance from 2012 to 2014. Eventually their powerful batting line up (and ability to take 20 wickets) will start to fire. Although they do over rely on Steyn.

  • Comment number 58.

    First of all It fills me with embarassment the number of asians who have recently started to post comments on an all to increasing basis attacking fellow british asians for supporting sub continent teams. I proudly follow India...I proudly fail the Tebbit test....You on the other hand have no knowledge of why a person supports a particular team.

    I do not know what decade you were born in...or when you grew up.

    I grew up in the 70's and 80's. One of the first generations of Asians born here. We went through an identity chrisis. Not sure who or what we were. We went through racial tension....messages posted on our shop boards....messages telling us who we are ...ie the racial term commonly used to describe asians even if we are not from Pakistan! Messages given to us at school...I was once called PXXI and the teacher said ignore it. Oh really?

    I was racially abused by a three year old when I was 6 as his father stood there and actually taught and encouraged him what to call me....and more and more....I don't feen anger..It's amusing...not ignoring the time when a group of white youths stood outside our house threatening to damage our property and attack us...my brother and I aged 9 and 10 at the time, stood armed only with the cricket bat we were playing in our garden with!

    Again I do not say all this to garner sympathy...but explain the enviroment why it was easy for me to Support India. That is where my heart was encouraged to go...and I do not apologise for that. You and your ridiculous claims as to why I should support England when this country during my FORMATIVE years encouraged me to head in that direction.

    The country has changed now. Asians are not rejected in the way they once were. If you feel a part of England then good luck to you.

    I of course still am English in many respects and now am at ease with who I am. However, whilst the country has now changed, I am now in my late 30's and the decision taken as a child will not change. Indeed I feel more proud now then ever.

    That is not to say that I am always Indian. When I vist India I can see my differences and can see clearly my english tendancies. However, it was England that made me feel this way, and so it is understandable that those of my generation took the path that we have.

    As for Mr Gareett who thinks England will win no problem and that India will now see the problem with tours...India have had the packed schedule for years...only the English complain.
    The south africans thought like you that India would be a walkover...we of course too quake in our boots at the thought of Prior destroying us. In 2002, and 2007 the arrogance of the English made them think we would simply be turning up to lose....England have not beaten India in a test series since 96....home or away....even in 07, we were told how Harmison would teach us how to play. Your arrogance and faith is your weakness. We will see who will dominate this series.

    I am sure the king of Spin Swann will have the indian batsmen wrecked with nerves....because In India we have no idea how to play spin.

    Keep the comments coming England fans....we have not got to number 1 simply by eating our nails...and the more comments you give, the more it will hurt you when you lose.

  • Comment number 59.

    All this analysis ignores the huge benefit of home advantage to all sides.

    Jimmy with a 50 over old ball at a cloudy Headingley will reverse swing anyone out, irrespective of their IPL strike rate. But put him in Asian conditions and, as we've seen in recent weeks, he's fodder for the statisticians.

    Why aren't England maximising home advantage by playing the Indians in May at Old Trafford, Headingley and Chester Le Street while its still cold and 'orrible? 'Baji' will look (and bowl) like Mitchelin man in 5 sweaters!!

  • Comment number 60.

    #58

    I feel sorry for what you were brought up in I grew up in the 90's and suffered abuse at school not on race lines but just because I was a bit different to most other kids. However you lost some credibility to me when after saying all that you went on an India are the greatest rant at the end. You don't strike me as someone trying to patch up the problem but trying to drive a further wedge.

    History is the past and should e left that way we need to learn from our mistakes and get over them or we won't grow. Incidentally your clinging on to past glories against England that's almost like the Australian's in the past two Ashes series not waking up t the fact their side is no longer nigh on indefeatable. You play England's current test which as I've noted before are not the Hussien or Atherton sides I had to grow up with, even the Vaughn side doesn't look good when looked at with this team although some players are the same.

    I also believe if Indian's are going to have a problem with one of our bowlers it'll be Anderson not Swan that will do so because as you quite rightly say India are better at playing spin.

  • Comment number 61.

    The current Test match rankings are:
    1 India 128
    2 South Africa 117
    3 England 115
    4 Sri Lanka 109
    5 Australia 107
    6 Pakistan 90
    7 West Indies 85
    8 New Zealand 78
    9 Bangladesh 7

    The current ODI rankings are:
    1 Australia 128
    2 India 121
    3 Sri Lanka 118
    4 South Africa 116
    5 England 105
    6 Pakistan 103
    7 New Zealand 94
    8 West Indies 68
    9 Bangladesh 68
    10 Ireland 42
    11 Zimbabwe 37
    12 Netherlands 110
    13 Kenya 0

  • Comment number 62.

    I don't ask for you to feel sorry for me. Pity is irrelevant. Nor did I at any point say India are the greatest or rant about it. Not one line is written where I say India are the greatest. That is barely the point. I was taking issue with the line written by Mr Garrett that India would be no problem. My point is that India do not fear England anymore. Gone are those days when India were scared of teams. My point is we arrive as number 1....for the first time in years you have three to four teams who are all fairly equal.....the point I make is that England fans...and believe I am surrounded by many in my office saying the same, seem to think India have reached number 1 by some force of luck. Ian botham on sky looking forward to the series said India would be no problem. Nasser Hussain said after India lost the first test to South Africa, no point being like India who come to a fast bouncy track and get blasted away....only for india to fight back in the next match to quieten him down.

    I do not know If India will beat England...what i do know is that English fans need to stop thinking that India are simply turning up to get beaten. Those days are long gone and it is time the World started to respect that. Even Graham smith who after the 1-1 series draw in India said, "If we drew 1.-1 at home we would be embarassed". when it did happen, he accepted "that India deserve their number 1 spot".

    All that happens when people like you write that I have ranted or made out india are the greatest (and for the record bowling wise we are not close to the league of WI and AUS at their peaks) is that you encourage others to misunderstand what I wrote. Read it properly as opposed to making assumptions on what you think I wrote. I wrote we are number 1, not that we are the greatest. Get your facts correct please.

  • Comment number 63.

    Really good article this, well considered, researched and thought out. As pointed out India really have far too many problems to be dominant over the next few years.
    India's "fast" bowling resources are scant. Zaheer Khan is a fine bowler but he cannot be expected to carry an attack into a period of dominance. Bowlers like Sreesanth, Ishant Sharma, RP Singh, Manuf Patel and Irfan Pathan are simply not good enough to make it into most of the other seam attacks in world cricket.
    Kohli, Raina, Sharma, Pujara, Tiwary etc have all shown promise but none of them have shown enough ability for anyone to truely believe that they can perform consistently to the standard of the middle order India has had over the last decade.
    On occasions Dhoni is an outstanding batsmen and imaginative captain, but his decision to call up Sreesanth for the final was highly questionable and if India had failed to win that game (they won INSPITE of Sreesanth) then he would surely have been severely criticised.
    Dhoni is also not as good a gloveman as someone like Sangakkara for example, and can occasionally let the team down with the gloves.
    All in all India have no more chance of dominating than any other team with players of potential.
    Sri Lanka have Malinga, Mendis, Sangakkara, Mathews, and Dilshan - A selection of fine players with plenty of cricket left in them and possible future stars.
    Equally England drew with India, in spite of all the problems they have had in the ODI arena and their appauling build up to the tournament, and at times looked as if they could have beaten the eventual champions. On top of that England were crowned Champions at the last big International T20 tournament (where India failed to make the final) and are coming off the back of a fine Test Series in Australia that many thought could prove the springboard for an assault on the Test No.1 spot.
    South Africa have a number of players with the potential to be "world class" in JP Duminy, Morne Morkel, F du Plessis and Wayne Parnell and some that already are and will be for some time to come in Graeme Smith, Dale Steyn, AB De Villiers and Hashim Amla.
    All in all anyone who thinks India are about to enter a period of unchallenged dominance should really think again.

  • Comment number 64.

    http://icc-cricket.yahoo.net/match_zone/development_fixtures.php

    Indonesia are playing Tonga, Samoa are playing Cook Islands and South Korea are playing Philippines today and another dozen or so countries from Brazil to Ghana are also playing this month.
    Add all these real minnows to Ireland, Holland, Afghanistan etc. and you'll find that cricket is growing daily, it makes you wonder why the ICC have decided to shrink the next world cup to 10 countries instead of expanding it to 16 teams, are they really so short sighted, or just greedy and stupid?

  • Comment number 65.

    This is directed at Nav Sandhu (comment no. 4).

    I understand where you are coming from, however clearly your point of view is limited to your surroundings. Throughout the World Cup, I was supporting both England and Pakistan and will continue to do so. Nobody has to limit themselves to just one team. I even supported Ireland when they werent playing England (in my opinion the best match of the WC). I can't speak for Indian fans, but I'm sure there are others out there who have similar views as me and support England as much as India.

    Your second point regarding the religious reasons for the rivalry is just a dangerous thing to point out and quite stupid. I again understand your reasons, but to highlight it as the only reason is plain wrong. The Indian team has many Muslim players, not just Hindus and have had some great players representing Islam in a positive light. I don't think you clearly understand the rivalry and why passionate the fans become. Ask any England fan what it means to beat Australia and you have your answer. The history speaks for itself, in sport and politics.

    With regards to the football, I support Manchester United as I am from Greater Manchester. I also have love for my local team and follow their progress weekly and hope for their promotion this season. I know many Arsenal supporters who are not from London and hate Man U and Liverpool, and they are also of Indian/Pakistan 'extraction'.

    I had to respond to such an absurd comment since you are clearly not thinking outside the box and only looking in your boxed world. Open your eyes and you will see that despite the rivalry between the two teams, and in this country, we are all fortunate to live alongside each other without hate and animosity and get along fine as fellow brits.

    With reference to the above blog, I do believe India are capable of dominating, but the money making comes first and the players will certainly feel the strain with such a hectic schedule. I really do hope that relations between India and Pakistan improve and India squeeze in a tour of Pakistan in the coming years to really stamp their authority as the best team in the world.

  • Comment number 66.

    Good article... nice comments... useful insights...all good!!
    I dun care about what might have been..... dun wanna worry about the future... or who is better than whom.. or whether India would dominate world cricket..India are WORLD CHAMPIONS!!.. Living the moment and enjoying it... and to achieve this they did beat all previous WC champs...WI, AUS, PAK and SRL...

  • Comment number 67.

    India will definitely put good show in English summer and Fans here in England should come out of their nostalgia of beating Australia recently which i reckon a team not good in both bowling and batting departments.India never lost a test series to England since 2000 and the same will happen in coming summer here in UK.....India to win test series 2-1 and one dayers 4-1

  • Comment number 68.

    Mr Smith, are you kidding me?

    So let us get this right? Let us put aside whether India will dominate. The fact is, are you really saying that because England drew with India, that somehow they really looked like eventual champions? I think you really need to listen to proper pundits. Geoff Boycott, David Gower, even the biased Ian Botham and Nasser Hussain both ultimately admitted, on top of Geoff and Gower, that England are miles behind when it comes to one day cricket. You really need to stop thinking about whether India will dominate. If you are going to say that the 20/20 somehow proves something, it would as ridiculous as me going back to 2007 when India won it and remind you what Yuvraj did to Stuart Broad. Following your argument, that means Stuart Broad is a pathetic bowler to allow himself to be hit for six sixes in a match four years ago. England really were pretty poor, and whilst there were some explanations, KP not fit, Broad injured, the fact is don't try and think that a draw with India and a heavy schedule somehow puts you on a par in one day cricket.

    In test Cricket for the record India are still pretty successful too, and whilst I am not convinced they will dominate, I also do not think any team will step up. India have just toured SL and South Africa, and I would say the SA attack is the strongest in the world, stronger than even England's.

  • Comment number 69.

    In my comment #55 I have said what I wished to say. Perhaps one point I forgot to note. And that is about my own doubts about the bowling action of Malanga, the Sri Lankan fast bowler.My decades of watching cricket suggest that someday the ICC technical experts must look into it.May be I am wrong.Yet, let me repeat, in sports to be competitive on the spot right in time is what counts. And, also I can see Pakistani bowling strength as the most important point which others seem to be shy to mention. The one batsman from WI - hitting sixes and holding the best catch of the tournament, is a treat to watch. South Africans' team was best in fielding in my opinion. The Indians must learn not to depend too heavily on four batsmen. Luckily, this time the dropped catches by the Pakistanis proved a blessing in disguise for them.Yes, they are the Champions for now.Congratulations.

  • Comment number 70.

    well said post 28

  • Comment number 71.

    AmirDewani, what is your point about Malingas action?
    It is 100% legal and would have been classed as such ever since the rules changed from roundarm to overarm bowling, sometime well over 100 years ago.
    It is not only 100% legal, but a joy to watch and seemingly very difficult to play, however it appears to you, there is NOTHING wrong with it.

  • Comment number 72.

    @42 U Forgot The Others Didnt U LOL? U Forgot To Mention Zaheer Khan, Lasith Malinga, Harbhajan Singh, Sachin Tendulkar MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Ravichandran Ashwin And Not To Mention All The Other World BEaters Who Turned Up IE ( Ur Very Own Kevin Pietersen Didnt See Him At Ur PATHETIC FINALS DAY! How Much Is The IPL Worth! Thats What I Thought. A Bit More People Who Were At The Rich Mans Event Kallis, Gambhir, Sewhag, Lee, Steyn, Morkel, Smith, Kohli, Yuvraj, Sangakarra, JP Duminy, Mulidaran, Gayle, Ab De Villiers, Jayawaderne, Laxman, Dravid, Vettori, Ross Taylor, Angelo Mathews, Shane Watson, Dilshan And Micheal Hussey!) Did U See These MEGASTARS Turn Up At Ur PATHETIC, MONEYLESS FINALS DAY, NO THEY TURNED UP AT THE MEGA MONEY EVENT THAT IS THE IPL!

  • Comment number 73.

    Scenicjoker - I didn't say England were as good as India in One Day cricket!? They are quite clearly not. No, I am not saying England looked like eventual champions, very far from it.
    I said England looked like they could have beaten India in the game they played against each other. That is completely different.
    All of the pundits you mention are very good at their jobs and know much more about cricket than me, I do listen to them a great deal and with keen interest. I take on board all their comments about England and argee with the vast majority of them.
    I'm only saying that the most recent contest between the two nations COULD have gone either way. I find it hard to believe you could disagree with that?
    I think you've misunderstood "my argument" which wasn't actually an argument at all, just a comment on the overall quality of cricket teams around the world and how this, in my humble opinion, makes it very difficult for India to dominate.
    I am not sure why you think what I've said suggests Broad is a pathetic bowler?
    England were very poor - in many aspects of their game in some matches. On the other hand they did playe well in patches in some games.
    South Africa spent some time as the world's number 1 test team and have an outstanding bowling attack, as I've pointed out. India are a very successful test side.
    I just don't think any team will dominate world cricket because lots of different teams have top quality players and the overall standard is much higher than it was, say, in the period of Australian dominance.

  • Comment number 74.

    Mr. Brett,

    I have read your dissertation on the rising fortunes of Indian cricket, the imminent retirements of some of its superstars and comparisons with former dynasties: W.I. and Aus and whether that nation could emerge as the next world beaters.

    But, amid all this, the ICC has dealt the sport of cricket a terrible below-the-belt blow by its decision to egregiously truncate the number of nations participating in the 2015 WC to 10 teams from 14.

    As we have seen in this world cup, the associate nations are improving, the game is gaining international recognition, popularity and acclaim.

    Newspapers in places like Canada and the USA where ice hockey, NFL, NBA and baseball dominate the sports pages have been carrying full pages on cricket. Why not capitalise on it? The Governing Body should build on this opening and encourage the game’s expansion; not its contraction.

    I trust you are able to open full discussion on this topic soon. The majority of genuine cricket fans around the world, India included, are alarmed by the decision taken by the ICC.

    Perhaps it is time to replace those running it and replace them with forward thinking men and women.

    I apologise for not fully staying on topic because I think this is a significantly far more urgent matter in terms of where the sport is headed in emerging nations/markets.

  • Comment number 75.

    Let's give the Indian team some credit to have been on top of the rankings for more than a year. Irrespective of whether any team has good/bad bowlers/batsmen/fielders, the key is to perform and be better than the opposition and India has done that remarkably well.
    India's last tour results in each of the countries are listed below:
    in SA: 1-1
    in SL: 1-1
    in NZ: 1-0
    in Aus: 1-2
    in Eng: 1-0
    in WI: 1-0
    in Pak: 0-1

  • Comment number 76.

    This article feels a little far fetched Mr Brett.

    I appreciate that India are currently an impressive side, but to compare them to the windies or Aussies in their hey days seems a little rose tinted or hyped up to me. Even with out the board doing their best to develope chronic fatigue in all the players SA are (in my view) as good a team. Added to this England and Pakistan, when they perform are capable of beating them (less sure about the quality of many other teams currently, in test cricket).

    By comparision both the windies of 80s, and the aussies of the 90s and 00s were close to peerless for much of their run.

    I'd expect to see India, if they overcome the issues highlighted, stay in the top two ranks, but not win every competition they enter.

  • Comment number 77.

    India's future looks bleak!

    Raina (Hello Bouncer), Pujara, Yuvraj (Hello Bouncer), Vijay, Ishant, Sreesanth.

    Crikey, there is some dross amongst their "future".

    Unless someone like Kohli, Rahane or Dhawan seriously steps up, they are facing a period in the mid-rankings once Sachin, Zaheer and VVS depart from the scene.

    England's future on the other hand looks rosier than a rose flower is Roseland!

    Squad depth unheard of since Australia in the mid-90's. A Test 1st XI full of players in their prime or younger. A plethora of young starlets ready to burst on the scene. Packed out Test venues game in and game out. A thriving domestic set-up.

    England could dominate for a decade if they can win both home series this Summer.

    Their only rival is South Africa and unless Rilee Roussouw, JP Duminy or someone else really steps up and matches Kallis' run production and unless Duminy can fill in the overs Kallis bowls, they are going to struggle big time, when the big Jacques goes!

  • Comment number 78.

    One correction, Pujara has been useless. He played well in the second innings of his first match and that was it, he is going to be gone very soon. Vijay was a much more impressive batsman when it came to Test with consistent performances and it is a surprise his name is left out of here. He did not have a great ODI record, but Test, he is the front runner ahead of even Yuvraj Singh. That said Pujara is the only weak link, we have Yuvraj Singh who will surely make into the Test Squad soon as he hasn't been able to play so far. Raina is there and Kohli is yet to play test for India, but he is a prospect too. Not to forget Badrinath. Add to them Vijay and Test line up is set. India never had problems with spinners as we have a strong pool. Bhajji, Ashwin, Mishra, Ojha, Powar, Chawla and many more to come. One day batting has no problem with the likes of Pathan, Kohli, Yuvi, Dhoni, Gambhir, Raina and also Badrinath, Parthiv, Vijay, Uthappa, Tiwary waiting to get in. So only the Seamers are a big concern. Ishant has been a flop show, Sree very inconsistent, Munaf, Nehra not bankable, Irfan, R P Singh, not very great. I don't see any great bowlers coming up as well though there are pacy like Unadkat, Yo Mahesh, Vinay Kumar from the domestic lineup, but they cannot be trusted. So Indian downfall will start with Zaheer leaving. Unless a new great bowler arises in the next couple yrs before Zak retires, we are doomed. Or else they have to go the classic way of play spin quartets, with Bhajji, Ashwin, Ojha and Yuvraj, in place of seamers, which is highly unlikely. So India's domination depends on creating good dependable Backup for Zak. Praveen Kumar is the only person who I could think, can do it, but he too is injury prone.

  • Comment number 79.

    4. At 18:42pm on 4th Apr 2011, Nav Sandhu wrote:
    One would hope that it isn't India's time to dominate world cricket. I don't know how much more of this i can take - i never knew India had so many fans in England. *** Maybe you can go hide in a dark room and not bother coming back out!

    I wonder how many will turn out to "support" their team in the test series vs England in the summer. I'll certainly be there, showing my love for the three lions. **** First of all why shouldn't India dominate World Cricket? Jealous are ya??? I didn't know Pakistan had so many fan in england either!!! As for how many will turn up to support India I would say quite a few fans will Team India has just won India the World Cup and for your information I saw alot of english fans supporting India in the Final.

    A couple of things sat uneasy with me during this world cup. The first was the semi-final between India and Pakistan. *** These matches always cause havoc and you know that just as much as we have to put up with Rule Britannia during the World Cup or Germany and england and listen to all the tripe about the three lions when Lions are from Africa!!!

    This match seemed to be supported on religious lines, especially amongst people who i had the misfortune to know - they saw it as an opportunity to get one over on followers of another faith. *** How is this any different from the england fans who use every opportunity to get one over other faiths during the world cup?

    That was quite shameless. Thank goodness we do not have a similar situation when supporting the England cricket team. *** That's because the english have no faith as such but what about when england play Germany is there not this kind of 'situation' then?

    Also, why do a lot of people with indian/pakistani extraction support those two teams, even though they were born and raised in England, *** Because these two countries represent our genes, our parents came here, left everything behind to sacrifice for us, India/Pakistan is the mother of our genes and that is not going to be forgotten by either origin people nor by the indigenous. The british media has been trying to wash our asianess out of us for years by saying we should support the country we are in and forget about speaking in our own languages and forget our culture whilst the english take their culture and flag whenever they ago abroad, if they don't like then don't go abroad.

    I wonder if you would be the first to come running to the aid of India/Pakistan if a dictator took over the UK and wanted you out. Why is it unjust for us to support the countries our parents came from? Why should we lose our identity? How many indigenous who move abroad whether expats or exrats support the countries they are in? What about those indigenous over here who supported India were they not born and bred here?

    and also support English football teams (albeit only two: Man Utd and Liverpool) and also the England football team? *** Because India/Pakistan are not good enough to be in the World Cup or don't have a football team. Man Utd and Liverpool are the biggest teams over here.

    Is it because India are no good at football and have a weak domestic league? The support was riddled with contradictions. *** You can laugh as much as you like, but India WILL beat england economically as it is part of the BRIC, maybe you could pick up a book and read up on it, if you can read that is. This is by far more important and when this country wakes up and realises this you will be the one saying you are India/Pakistani just to get onto the bandwagon. Having said all that al this depends on if you asian and not some indigenous using an asian name spouting rubbish on here out of jealousy for India winning the World Cup.

  • Comment number 80.

    Re No:42
    What about Dhoni, Tendulkar, Malinga, Raina, Ashwin, Murali, Hayden, Jayasuriya, Bravo, Pollard, M Hussey, Badrinath, Kumble, Kevin Pietersen (your own), Eoin Morgan (Your own), Kallis... IPL Semi's and Finals had all these top level players. Now compare this pool of players to your English T20 team. English team looks like a Zimbabwe team to an Australian team right. Its safe to pick your own set of not so dominant players and name them. By the way Vijay was the coolest of them all in both IPL And Champions league... Much more awesome than a Swann. Not fair to compare a bowler to a batsman, but Vijay achieved more with his bat than Swann did with his ball. Vijay is not even a top level player for India, compared to Swann being the only reason England doing well. IPL has brought in more awesome players than you think. Start watching it and then compare it to your County T20 and say which is better.

  • Comment number 81.

    Whether India win a test series or not is irrelevant the fact remains that India are World Champions and will also be economically, by far than little england. Sport is good but being ignorant to what India is..a future super-power, if even more ignorant.

  • Comment number 82.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 83.

    It would be funny if India beat england this summer.

  • Comment number 84.

    By the way India has already dominated Test for more than a year. Only three teams have dominated in tests in terms of ranking. Australia being the longest, SA being the shortest and now India holding it for more than a year, being the second longest. England Test team is just coming up, but they are still not good in Subcontinent conditions. Everybody talks of India doing well in England. Remember that England have to come back right after that series to India to play and England will lose miserably in that. No team can dominate India in the subcontinent. So even if India lose to England in England (which is highly unlikely) it won't affect the rankings much because India will win the series in India. That said, India's success in the past 12 months has come out side India, starting in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka. So India already a dominant force in Test. You've got to admit that India was awesome this time in ODI. Perhaps the best fielding performance in the knockout stages including the Finals, bowling peaking at the right time, (we still have P Kumar waiting) he adds a lot of swing. Batting is the best, so no talking there. As for T20, India hasn't played much on the International stage, but they have won the past few matches. They are 4th or 5th something because they haven't played enough. So we are already dominating in all formats. I challenge England to dominate in atleast one format in the nest two years and then talk of India. I do respect English people, but this is beyond that. English success in T20 wc was good, but its not going to last. They can't stick to the champions tag for long.

  • Comment number 85.

    This is in response to the comment 4 by Nav Sandhu.

    It's emabarrassing to see such immature comments from a fellow Asian .. assuming the indian name used and post is genuine of course and not a wind up.

    Both Indians and Pakistanis are of course entitled to support their respective teams regardless of where they are born. The passion with which these teams are supported adds to the excitement and rivalry between the teams and the support is not centered on religion ,as for example the Indian team have great Sikh, Hindu and Muslim players.

    Just as Irish , Australian , Scottish living in the UK openly support their teams during footbal World Cups. The passion shown by Indian and Pakistani Supporters is a demonstration of people proud of their roots. That's not to say they have anything against this wonderful country and it's people.

    Of course you have a few idiots in any form of Sport who go overboard but the vast majority of supporters are there to celebrate and not cause trouble , and perhaps you're probably too young to remember what some English football hooligans said and did during matches here (Euro 96) and abroad !

    As for the blog - Its been a great World Cup but I'm not sure why there is any reason to believe that India would dominate like the Windies or Aussies just after winnning this world cup. I didn't happen after 1983 so why have that expectation now ? I think winning after such a long time probably made it all the more special for India.

  • Comment number 86.

    Scenicjoker I apologise I felt you got a little ranty you obviously didn't feel that way call in a misunderstanding.

    Prashat why do you feel the need to repeat what someone else has said? More importantly check you facts

    Bravo played quite controversially as a ringer for Essex as he splayed the one day. their reward for investments? A semi-final loss, he was run out for 5 runs and went at 11.5 and over!

    Pietersen was dropped by eventual winners Hampshire as he hadn't played for them all tournament and they wanted to win it with their actual side.

    Pollard was playing that day for Somerset and was key part of their T20 success all season, he was retired hurt in the Final after a freak ball from Dominic Cork got into his helmet causing his face to swell badly. That incident possibly cost Somerset the trophy as they needed his bowling overs.

    The first IPL was won by Rajastan Royals and how many big name players did they have that year? Teams win you win you tournaments not individuals it's about the quality of Cricket not who played. I already lambasted him for his end of the argument and you go and try an compete on completely the wrong grounds.

    Roxy argh this is kind of thing to why people Scenicjoker get misunderstood.

  • Comment number 87.

    Why do people have a serious problem with India doing well in anything? I don't see any jealousy towards Aus/Eng/US/SAfrica/Jamaica etc. All Indians stood shoulder to shoulder after this World Cup win, sure India may not be ready to dominate Cricket (I hope we are) but India will certainly dominate the world in terms of our economy and who will england run to....hmmm....let me guess....India LOL! Just remember there are other great sporting stars in India Nehal Saina who got a gold in Tennis recently, at least Team India (all Indian group) won the World Cup on home turf unlike england who need Monty Panaseer, Nasser Hussain and the likes then have the nerve to run down the asian side when it is the asian people who play for england in the first place! Cricket is a gentleman's game so where is the respect from england fans for the Indian Team for doing so well? Just remember Common Wealth Games India beat england by 38 Gold Medals whilst england got 37! We have great sporting stars and with the right coaching India's future is far brighter than england's in the future. Whilst england will rely on those of other countries origins to fight their battles (as they did in WW1 and WW2 relying on Indians) India has the pick of the crop of its own people who are a fantastic nation by far.

  • Comment number 88.

    Prashant again England have not lost a Test series in two years does that qualify? Of course it doesn't we aren't top of the table but we can only play whats put in front of us.

    Being dominant requires you to be on top of all three games for an extended period of time I'd say 4 years with two world cup titles. The Australians and the West Indies have both managed it to the point it was felt they were going to win regardless of who they played. In four years time in 2015 do you think we'll be saying the same about India?

  • Comment number 89.

    86. At 20:48pm on 5th Apr 2011, ncurd wrote:

    Roxy argh this is kind of thing to why people Scenicjoker get misunderstood.
    -------------------------
    Oh yeah what comment is that? Standing up for our right to be heard whether in cricket or otherwise?

    As for those who say they respect english people how much respect do the english give to the Indians? Just look at all the spouting on here about India being worthless why? Why can't people show their respect and support for India yet expect India to show respect to england works both ways!

  • Comment number 90.

    @ 88 don't matter in 4 years time, the fact is India is a World Champion today and will be in other sports too! This country is in the making and will get there finally you or I may not live long enough to witness the success but success will happen and India will be just as good as england in any sports.

  • Comment number 91.

    All, India will surely dominate the cricket world soon. Winning the WC is just the beginning. With IPL on the loom, all youngsters and seniors get enough practice to handle bouncy WI tracks. Sammy's team is too young to beat India. I wouldn't be surprised if Pakis beat them easily.

    About England tour, Indians play well generally in England. Now that the world champions title hanging around there neck, that is good enough to beat England. Fatigue factor is not an issue, because Indian selection committee is one of the greatest. They will hand pick players for the situation. In fact, guys here already talking about India tour makes me feel, they are nervous already. Its alright Mate, cheers, when you are playing against World's #1 team, things like these are common.

    About Aussies, they have already tasted Indian dominance last time around. Their bowling is very weak and will not withstand Indian dominance. They can only wish.

    So, instead of arguing India can't do this and that, just accept the fact they are the Dominant team right now in Cricket world. We can argue about this, after the series. Of course, I am supporter of India but I am not no newbie to this.

    Bring it on, fellas.

  • Comment number 92.

    85. At 20:29pm on 5th Apr 2011, dakooj wrote:
    This is in response to the comment 4 by Nav Sandhu.

    It's emabarrassing to see such immature comments from a fellow Asian .. assuming the indian name used and post is genuine of course and not a wind up.

    Both Indians and Pakistanis are of course entitled to support their respective teams regardless of where they are born. The passion with which these teams are supported adds to the excitement and rivalry between the teams and the support is not centered on religion ,as for example the Indian team have great Sikh, Hindu and Muslim players.

    Just as Irish , Australian , Scottish living in the UK openly support their teams during footbal World Cups. The passion shown by Indian and Pakistani Supporters is a demonstration of people proud of their roots. That's not to say they have anything against this wonderful country and it's people.

    Of course you have a few idiots in any form of Sport who go overboard but the vast majority of supporters are there to celebrate and not cause trouble , and perhaps you're probably too young to remember what some English football hooligans said and did during matches here (Euro 96) and abroad !
    --------------
    Well said....this is my point, why do fellow asians bring India and her fans down like this? If it was not for India we would not be here today, our parents (roots) came from India, I have gone back there. I am an Indian born and bred in the UK but I supported India because I felt patriotic to my genes and proud of my skin colour for the first time in years, I am now a Proud India and will show my support to Team India. This support made me feel secure within myself I am not white and will never be respected as such, seen the racism for years and years. Apart from that....Sachin and Dhoni are both good looking men who kept my interest in this World Cup and brought me close to my relatives in India to whom I have not chatted on email for ages. I am now happy to say I will be ordering an Indian Flag online so that my kids will know exactly where they roots came from. I believe this is important and this years cricket has got every Indian excited whereas in 1983 nobody appeared celebrate due to fear of being in a foreign country. Now things have changed and we have every right to support Team India as do the Irish/Italians/Greeks/Norwegians/Jamican's/Nigerians/Koreans/Australians/Brazilians/Mexicans/Canadian who all live in this country! Thank You Team India for making me proud to be an Indian.

  • Comment number 93.

    Re ncurd
    I did not read all of these msgs so I don't know who wrote what. I write what I think and what I know. Sorry if someone had answered anything before. And about the IPL player names and the Eng T20 names, the names I mentioned played for IPL, Some have played for other teams in other domestic leagues as well. My reply was to 42, he left all great player names who played in the IPL and said only second tier players and retired stars and compared them to current stars of England who played there. I had to clear that IPL had better domestic and International players than English domestic T20...

  • Comment number 94.

    And congratulations on that India were deserved champions like I said before my money was on Sri Lanka but the better side won on the day. This article was about whether India would dominate Cricket like some of two of truly great sides of the past and all were saying is that they probably won't. The top of Cricket pecking order is just too close.

    India being just good at any sport as England? Possibly in the future first it would take India being interested in exactly the same sports as England, then it would require putting into place the same level of grass-roots structure. Let that fester some time and you'll have sports teams in all sports of our level but that won't happen. Not because India can't do it and not because they are inferior to the English no one country really is. Simply because Indian's won't be interested in exactly the same sports as England do you see yourselves wanting to compete with us Rugby Union or even building the fanbase necessary to have the money to do so? It's not going to happen however India will be more dominant in sports the English couldn't give monkeys about as well.

  • Comment number 95.

    Re ncurd
    And compare English successes in Tests and Indian successes in Tests and say who is a better team. Clearly thats the reason for India being on top of the ratings. And dont bring the home turf stuff. India had its successes outside India and in India too as already stated. The state of the two nations will be known in a few months I guess. Then we'll have this talk again.
    And about dominance. West Indies was a cool team, but still they did not have great opponents, England was wobbly back then, Aussies were good, Africa wasn't great (not sure if it was East or South back then) India and Pakistan were just above the minnow state and not as great as now. Sri Lankans were minnows too. So no challenge for West Indies. Aussie domination understandable but they too were not unbeatable. So many teams did beat them many times. If you go by ratings as we do now for India, then Aussies were dominant. Frankly there can't be one single dominant side.

  • Comment number 96.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sporting_boycott_of_South_Africa

    That's what was going on during the West Indies dominance. Also I think you need to see highlights of their pace bowling! Players started wearing helmets for a reason.

    The better team is India over the past two but having the two side not play each other in quite some time in a Test capacity makes it quite a mouth watering series don't you agree? especially when you take into account their recent one day affair. Cricket will hopefully be the winner this Summer with two brilliant series.

  • Comment number 97.

    @87 'india will certainly dominate the world in terms of our economy'....
    you also include the claim that indians did the bulk of the fighting in the two world wars. These two claims are not only stupid, they are nothing to do with the point of the article.

    Just because most of the posters on here don't think India are particularly better than the other teams around the world, doesn't mean you need to go on a pointless and unrelated rant.

    @75 you include the away results of india, so lets compare with SA
    WI 2-0
    Ind 1-1
    Aus 2-1
    Eng 2-1
    Pak 1-0
    SL 0-2
    Nzl 1-1

    so that's 4 wins and 1 defeat, compared with India's 3 wins and 2 defeats. So on your own terms, there's nothing here to suggest domination for india. Worth also pointing out that SA are a younger side.

  • Comment number 98.

    @97 u spotted my comment @75 but missed my comment @5 :)

    My comment was for people who think India has reached the top by luck. They have performed well across the globe and deserve to be no 1.

  • Comment number 99.

    @9 On what basis will India start as underdogs? India has done very well in the last 2 tours to England, so I dont see how you can tag India as underdogs. If you are implying it coz of Ashes, then you may well look back to the aftermath of 2005.

  • Comment number 100.

    I fully agree with the author...the scheduling is unreal and will take a toll on the Indian players!! Hopefylly, they will field a second string team for the meaningless one-day and T20 matches. As for some comments by Pakistani fans, Pakistan has yet to win a single WC match against India- they have lost 5 times in an ODI and twice in T20!! Don't get upset about Indian domination...worry and pray that your team does not face India in a WC match!!

 

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