Cricket World Cup 2011 Predictions: India's Group 'B' Matches

Kiran PKContributor IFebruary 11, 2011

Will India top the group B?
Will India top the group B?Gallo Images/Getty Images

We're all excited about the 2011 edition of the ICC World Cup and, as always, I'd expect this event to be bigger than ever! I'll get straight to what I want to write about, and that's analysing the Group B matches from India's perspective.

India has had a great 2010-2011 season thus far, and are poised as the favorites to win the World Cup. But, let's keep in mind how utterly close most of those victories have been—it really took exceptional team efforts to get them there.

Having said that, any team that can pull victories from the jaws of defeat more often than not gets my vote.

Let's get one thing sorted out first—the groups.

There are 14 teams divided into two groups.


Group A

Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Canada, Pakistan and Kenya


Group B

India, South Africa, England, West Indies, Bangladesh, Ireland and Netherlands 

OK, let's start dissecting.


Match 1: India vs. Bangladesh

Bangladesh had a decent start to the year, with some draws and some losses, but towards the end, they've proved why they're so dangerous in this form of game. Coming out of two series wins against New Zealand and Zimbabwe, their confidence will be at an all-time high.


Should India Worry?

A little. Bangladesh is dangerous, but their form is a far cry from that of the current Indian team. India needs to exercise caution and not experiment at this early stage (remember the previous World Cup?). They should play the full squad to get the legs warmed up.


Who Will Win?

I predict India will have a relatively easy win. They need to ensure it is by a good margin to keep the Net Run Rate up.


Match 2: India vs. England

England will be in a bitter-sweet frame of mind after a big win in the Ashes, but a real thrashing in the ODI series, which probably matters more at this point.

England will try and churn up memories from their T20 World Cup win and keep things positive. The ICC World Cup has eluded them on every occasion, and they will be out with all cylinders firing.


Should India Worry?

Yes. England is a very formidable opponent and will be hard to beat if they are in form. I, however, suspect the 1-6 loss to Australia will be playing on their mind.


Who Will Win?

I predict India will win, but it will be an uphill task.


Match 3: India vs. Ireland

Ireland won the ICC World Cricket League Division One Series early last year and will be confident that they can go the distance in similar tournaments. They will most definitely take positives from this and come with all guns blazing, but the question is: Will this be enough against powerhouses like India, South Africa, England and West Indies?


Should India Worry?

No. Ireland is good, but have a long way to go before competing in tournaments with the big boys.


Who Will Win?

I predict India will win, and it should be easy. But, should India lose to England, India will be a little nervous in this match and Ireland should capitalize on that.

Again, the focus is on winning with a big margin for India. The Net Run Rate should be maintained.


Match 4: India vs. Netherlands

Netherlands has had a rather average year. I think they'll just focus on taking it match by match and look to win against countries in their own league.


Should India Worry?



Who Will Win?

India will win, but India has to make these wins emphatic, building the Net Run Rate for the later stages if it should come into play. 

Match 5: India vs. South Africa

Well, what can I say except: It will be a slobber-knocker!

S.A. probably has one of the best teams in World Cricket today, and their recent win in the ODI series over India will give them the mental edge. India will have to play a very focused game here, with none of the looseness which cost them the series.


Should India Worry?

Yes. India should be very tentative and play with 120 percent focus, emphasizing the top-order batting and bowling in the death.


Who Will Win?

South Africa—it's hard to say it, but that's what I predict. S.A. will come in hard and fast. Adding spin to their arsenal now has made them venomous in sub-continental conditions.


Match 6: India vs. West Indies

The Windies have had a dismal cricket year, but they are dangerous. I somehow predict India and W.I. (West Indies) will have to work this match.

If India are in a state where they have qualified for the next round, but could use the extra points, the Windies will make them sweat it out.


Should India Worry?

Yes, but only a little, really, because the Windies can come back strongly when needed.


Who Will Win?

India, but they will be made to claw and scratch for a win if it's crunch time. If they've already qualified, Windies will make them work hard, but have a tendency to let go when being put out. 


Summing Up

The two teams in Group B to bet on would be India and South Africa. England is the dark horse, and can maybe top the group.

There you have it, folks—my predictions.

I would love your thoughts and comments! 

Stay tuned for Group B and Group A analysis, plus my predictions on who will win the coveted Cup itself!