The similarities between the 1983 Cricket World Cup winning Indian team and the 2011 hopefuls are remarkably striking:
Gavaskar ~ Tendulkar
Srikkanth ~ Sehwag
Kapil ~ Dhoni [captaincy]
Yashpal, Patil and Azad ~ Kohli, Raina and Yusuf
Amarnath ~ Yuvraj [in the context of their excellent form at the respective World Cups]
Madan Lal, Sandhu, Binny ~ Zaheer, Munaf and Nehra.
As all focus shifts to Mumbai for this year's World Cup final, however, my mind goes back thirteen days to a game played at that very venue between Sri Lanka and New Zealand where the surface just broke up and became a mess in the last 25 overs. It'd be a shame if a World Cup final was ruined by the toss, so maybe Mr. Dhoni should do exactly what his 'jural correlative' did twenty-eight years ago: lose the toss and get put in to bat.
The broader, more critical question of whether 50-over cricket will survive for us to see such a World Cup say eight or twelve years down the line still needs to wait, though. I also have a feeling that the organizers of the IPL will be cursing India's run to this final because it might just result in their painstakingly crafted eight-week extravaganza being the victim of some serious cricketing overkill and fatigue amongst fans. Personally, I hope not - I've grown to love T20 cricket a lot more than 50-over cricket. However, if the IPL final generates a buzz properly comparable to the kind sure to be witnessed in India over the next two days, I promise to be absolutely astonished by our nation's appetite for cricket.