India's probable batting lineup in 2019 World Cup vs batting lineup in 2011 World Cup: A comparative analysis

India v Sri Lanka - 2011 ICC World Cup Final
India v Sri Lanka - 2011 ICC World Cup Final

With the ICC World Cup 2019 just a few months away, every cricket fan is keen to know how their team is shaping up. The Indian team management is also trying to finalize the best possible team combination for the mega event, which will begin in England from 30th May 2019.

The Indian ODI team has been the most consistent team in the world over the last couple of years. As a result of their consistent performances in both home and overseas conditions, they are presently ranked number one in the ICC ODI Cricket Rankings.

As India will be going into the World Cup as the No. 1 team in the world, they will obviously be among the favourites to win the tournament. All the Indian fans will be hoping that India win the coveted trophy once again, after an eight-year gap.

Like the 2011 World Cup winning team, this present Indian team also comprises of some of the biggest stars of modern day cricket like Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma.

Here, we try to draw a comparison between the batting lineup of the present ODI team and the one that won the 2011 World Cup. Although it is very difficult to compare teams of different generations, what we have tried in this article is to find out how the present team's batting lineup stacks up in comparison to the previous World Cup winning team.

Openers

2011: Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag

2019: Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan

20011 Opening pair: Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag
20011 Opening pair: Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag

In the 2011 edition, India had one of the greatest opening pairs of all time. The master blaster Sachin Tendulkar and the devastating Virender Sehwag were a nightmare for the opposition teams.

Their match-winning contributions in important matches like the semifinals against Pakistan and the group matches against South Africa, England and Bangladesh were instrumental behind India's success in the tournament.

Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma

Like their predecessors, the present opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are also the best in the world. Their tremendous success as an opening pair has been instrumental behind India's ODI success of recent years.

If they can continue their good form, they could have a huge impact in the upcoming World Cup.

Winner: Tie

No. 3 position

2011: Gautam Gambhir

2019: Virat Kohli

The No. 3 batting position is one of the most important batting positions in an ODI game. In 2011, Gautam Gambhir played very well in that slot. He was very consistent throughout the tournament and played one of the most important knocks in the final, which ensured that India did not falter at the final hurdle.

In 2019, this spot will belong to Virat Kohli, arguably the greatest match winner in the history of ODI cricket. If Kohli plays well, then he might end up breaking all the batting records in the World Cup and carry the Indian team to its 3rd World Cup victory. He will most probably be the biggest impact player for India in this edition of the World Cup.

Winner: 2019

Middle order

2011: Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina

2019: Ambati Rayadu, MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik / Rishabh Pant, Kedar Jadhav

2011 Team's Middle Order
2011 Team's Middle Order

The biggest strength of the 2011 team was that it had a middle order, which any ODI team would dream of having. It had a perfect mixture of youth and experience, with all the 4 middle order players having the capability of winning matches on their own.

It was this excellent middle order that bailed India out of trouble in the quarterfinals against the mighty Australians and in the finals against the Sri Lankans.

In 2011, Dhoni and Yuvraj were among the very best in the world. Virat Kohli was a rising star and Suresh Raina was the ideal batsman at No. 7 who could score quickly and also finish games.

Ambati Rayadu and MS Dhoni: The 2 Mainstays of the present Middle Order
Ambati Rayadu and MS Dhoni: The 2 Mainstays of the present Middle Order

Contrary to the 2011 team's middle order, this present team's middle order is its weakest link. Although Ambati Rayadu, Kedar Jadhav and Rishabh Pant are good ODI players, they are nowhere close to what Yuvraj, Raina and Kohli were in 2011. The Dhoni of 2011 was also a far better ODI player than what he is now, eight years down the line.

It follows that this middle order will be India's biggest worry going into the World Cup, as they have struggled to score quickly and finish games in long run chases in recent times.

Winner: 2011

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