Shades of B&H World Championship in India’s campaign

[ODDBALL THEORIES] Startling similarities connect India’s twin ODI triumphs of 1983 and 1985 with their performances in the 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy.

They say India’s 1983 World Cup win was the greatest cricketing upset. Man to man, Kapil Dev’s ragtag bunch paled in comparison to Clive Lloyd’s West Indies. But that ragtag bunch had it in them to beat the Caribbean giants.


Before anybody could say ‘fluke’, India produced another momentous performance when they went to Australia in 1985 and won the Benson & Hedges World Championship of Cricket. It was the biggest ODI tournament outside the World Cup, and the first – and last – of its kind. It featured all the seven full members of the ICC at the time: Australia, England, India, Pakistan, New Zealand, West Indies and Sri Lanka.



Thirty years later, history seems to be repeating itself. India, the 2011 World Cup winners, are performing brilliantly in the Champions Trophy, which currently is the biggest ODI tournament outside the World Cup, and this is also the last time this tournament will be played.



India, having beaten South Africa, West Indies and Pakistan, need to win two more games to take the Trophy. In 1985 too, India had remained unbeaten throughout, winning five games out of five on their way to the World Championship win. 


 
There are other parallels to be drawn between 1985 and 2013.



The year before the B&H World Championship, the best Australian batsman of the era – Greg Chappell – retired. It happened again in the year before the 2013 Champions Trophy when Ricky Ponting retired from international cricket.
 


In both eras, Australia were beset by transitional difficulties. In 1984, Greg Chappell, Dennis Lillee and Rodney Marsh – three of their all-time greats – had retired en masse, and Australia were struggling to rebuild their team with young players. Currently, under Michael Clarke, they’re again troubled by the retirements of some of their finest players and trying to recreate the strong group of cricketers they once were. They had failed to qualify for the B&H World Championship semifinals. They failed again in the 2013 Champions Trophy.

Months before the B&H World Championship, England won a Test series in India by a 2-1 margin under the leadership of David Gower. It was a landmark win for the visitors. It took them another 28 years to win another Test series in India, and it happened months before the 2013 Champions Trophy when Alastair Cook’s boys won – again, by a 2-1 margin.

Both times, England took a 2-1 lead heading into the final Tests which ended in draws.


Bizarrely, both Gower and Cook are left-handed batsmen who were 27 years old at the time of their Indian triumphs.


Spooky? Read on.

Ravi Shastri started his international career batting in the lower order. But as his career progressed, he was promoted to the opener’s slot. He was moved up and down a great deal but he landed himself the opener’s job permanently for the B&H World Championship. India in 2013 have a somewhat similar story – of Rohit Sharma, who has been tried in the middle order but clicked only when he was promoted as the opener in a surprise move. But here’s the most intriguing coincidence here – both Shastri and Sharma are Mumbai cricketers.

But that isn’t even the best part of this string of bizarre parallels. Shastri won the man of the tournament award at the B&H World Championship. He was dubbed the ‘Champion of Champions’ for his consistent brilliance with bat and ball through the tournament.


 
In the 2013 Champions Trophy, there is one Indian cricketer who has made a big impact on India’s fortunes. He has scored vital runs in the game against South Africa, taken a tidy bag of wickets (with a fiver against the West Indies) and has also fielded brilliantly.
 
It was Ravi in 1985. In 2013, it’s Ravindra. Both these gents are left-arm spinners. They’ve been riled for not being as skilled as some of their superstar colleagues. But nobody would deny that they have made the best use of their limited abilities. And what they lack in skill, they make up in enthusiasm. What’s more both of them have a large social media fan-following – if you could call it that!



So what do these coincidences mean? Are they hinting at an India win? Who knows? Just sit back and enjoy the final moments of the last ever Champions Trophy.
 
Are there any other parallels you can draw between the B&H World Championship and the 2013 Champions Trophy? Share your views in the comments.

[TAG: CYCSPL]
 

Matches

MORE TOP STORIES TODAY

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

Cleaning up the game starts with fans

... because, as recent events reveal, the BCCI has little intention of doing it. More »

Rajasthan square up to Chennai batting arsenal

Rajasthan square up to Chennai batting arsenal

Chennai have possibly the strongest top six in the current IPL, but Rajasthan have been buoyed by the return to form of their captain Shane Watson. More »

Hope to be fit for next game - Kevin Pietersen

Hope to be fit for next game - Kevin Pietersen

With two heavy defeats at the hands of Bangalore and Chennai, Daredevils currently languish near the bottom of the table. More »

'A blow to BCCI, could hurt autonomous status'

'A blow to BCCI, could hurt autonomous status'

The Supreme Court prefers that the Justice Mudgal panel further investigate the IPL corruption scandal. More »

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Have the ECB played an unfair game?

Money talks, but it is in light of this ICC shakeup that the ECB's act of soliciting of another team's coach deteriorates from free-market aggression to… More »

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

Perfect Punjab trounce Hyderabad

IPL7, GAME 9—Maxwell (95, 43b), Balaji (4-13) set up 72-run win. More »

Mudgal panel drops bombshell in court

The Mukul Mudgal probe committee dropped a bombshell in the Supreme Court on Tuesday by making a sensational claim that it was forced to stop audio recording depositions in the IPL fixing and betting scandal as the tapes were being leaked. More »

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

SC asks Mudgal committee to continue

Mukul Mudgal has communicated to the court his willingness to take up the investigation and has been asked to specify the terms and modalities on April… More »

Farbrace quits for England post

Farbrace quits for England post

He will assist Peter Moores who was unveiled as the new England coach on Saturday. More »

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

Chennai smash Delhi for first win

IPL7, MATCH 8—Raina-led middle order, superlative catching give CSK a 93-run win. More »

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

'BCCI reputation lowest in 80 years'

The former BCCI president says he was "disillusioned" by the happenings at the emergent working committee meeting on Sunday. More »

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Moin appointed to manage Pakistan team

Pakistan on Monday reappointed Moin Khan as chief selector and manager of the national team, a week after fellow former captain Rashid Latif turned down… More »

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Injured Bravo to miss rest of IPL

Dwayne Bravo is set to be sidelined for at least four weeks due to a shoulder problem. Bravo sustained the injury when attempting a catch on the boundary… More »

NZC contemplates domestic revamp

NZC contemplates domestic revamp

New Zealand Cricket has put forward a proposal to reinvent its domestic structure and allow up to 49% private investment into the six major associatio… More »

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

T20 test for Cheteshwar Pujara

The class act from Saurashtra may have to rethink his approach to the mannerless format. More »

Punjab pull off another big chase

Punjab pull off another big chase

GAME 7, SHARJAH—Maxwell, Miller, Pujara chase down Rajasthan's 192. More »

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

Special meeting to replace Srinivasan

The BCCI is likely to convene a special general body meeting (SGM) in May to replace N Srinivasan on the board's disciplinary committee. More »

Roach escapes injury after car crash

Roach escapes injury after car crash

The West Indies fast bowler lost control of his BMW sedan due to slippery road conditions in his native Barbados on Saturday. More »

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Shastri in proposed IPL probe panel

Some members stressed on the need for proposing names with an "impeccable record and clean image". More »

Day of Supreme reckoning

Day of Supreme reckoning

Apex court to decide on BCCI’s proposed new committee today. More »

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

Panel can help clean mess: Raghavan

The former CBI Director is one of the three candidates proposed by the BCCI to head the enquiry into the IPL betting and spot-fixing scandal. More »

Repose faith in Indian coaches

Repose faith in Indian coaches

All of them cost plenty of dollars which I feel is unnecessary for a two- month tournament, says former cricketer Yajurvindra Singh. More »

Cook relieved after period in limbo

Cook relieved after period in limbo

The England captain is looking forward to a fresh start after a dispiriting Ashes defeat last year. More »

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

[INTERVIEW] Jayawardene and Sangakkara

Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara go over their World T20 win, and feel grateful to have fans whose support remains unwavering in victory and de… More »