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CWC19: 5 Things You Must Know About From Week 3

This was going to be a very short post, had it not been for the amazing atmosphere in Manchester - a match that Virat Kohli's Team India had seemingly won inside the first 10 overs, but we'll get to that shortly.

Here are the 5 things you need to know:

The people scheduling this world cup should be sacked

I don't say this lightly because taking someone's livelihood from them is no fun exercise - trust me, I know. But these supposed experts who thought it wise to schedule cricket's second-most important event in early-to-mid June in England of all places, are they worth the money they're being paid?

Anyone arguing that this weather is "unseasonable" knows nothing about England in early June. There's a reason Wimbledon is held in July. There's a reason that the BCCI only starts Team India's tours of England in July. You join the dots about when this world cup should have been held.

Are the Aussies peaking at the right time?

Six weeks is a long time in cricket. This tournament in particular gives all the big guns plenty of opportunity to experiment and perfect their combinations while doing just enough to qualify for the semi-finals. Australia, IMHO, is leading the pack in this regard.

I have a strong suspicion that while the Aussies are squeaking by for now, the sum of their parts is building up to slowly become a powerful, world cup winning force.

We now that Australia has world cup pedigree in spades. Their batting is the undoubted strength in this world up and it is that which seems increasingly ominous as the tournament progresses. If one or two others in their middle overs bowling unit can find the wherewithal to support the rejuvenated Mitch Starc, the Aussies might just be playing off on July 14.

The West Indies are operating like India of the 1990's

Team India fans remember the painful 90's when the game was lost as soon as Sachin Tendulkar was out. Our aspirations, our fortunes and our results started and finished with Sachin. It wasn't just his batting either, his bowling was of equal potency when compared to potency and venom offered by the David Johnson's/Dodda Ganesh's/Venky Prasad's of that time.

Andre Russell is to the West Indies in this world cup what Sachin was to Team India in the 90's. Playing him when he's injured is a stark reminder that the West Indies are a one-man-team, at least in their own minds.

It's painful to watch a talented bunch of entertainers shoot themselves in the foot time and again because they've forgotten the most basic shot in the cricketing textbook - the forward defence. Dre Russ is no Sachin. He doesn't have the talent nor the temperament to carry a team over 300 balls.

Somewhere along the way the Windies think tank forgot that strategy is a key part of ODI success. Proper batsmen with an 80 strike rate can often provide as much value as a batting order stacked with 100+ pinch hitters. It's such unentertaining people (think Darren Bravo) that give those like Dre Russ the license to wreak havoc.

I don't think this is rocket science, the Windies seem to think otherwise.

Change your mindset, change your life

It's a motto that the Sri Lankans will be wise to adopt. When team management starts complaining like little schoolkids, you can imagine the complete lack of leadership in that camp.

Long-time TMR readers will remember that I'm no fan of Sidhart Monga, but his insights into just how much is wrong with Sri Lankan cricket have redeemed him somewhat in my book. Fascinating, although very sad reading.

This is the only gameplan that will beat Team India

It's really simple, but nobody has managed to do it so far: get all of the top 3 out before the 20th over. After Shikhar Dhawan's hairline fracture, India's middle order has gone from having a soft underbelly to being completely non-existent.

The Pakis were utterly hopeless in their attempts to make a dint in the Indian top 3. So much so that even KL Rahul looked untroubled while strolling to his half-century. The biggest indictment on the Paki bowling attack is that it allowed Rahul to show us something that he's never managed thus far in his international career - to show us that he has half a batting brain.

The case of Rahul is a curious one. He has all the talent in the world, but despite being around Kohli and Rohit Sharma he appears to have learned nothing of the grit, tenacity and mindset that those two exhibit more often than not. Maybe, just maybe, CWC19 is for KL Rahul what CWC03 was for another supremely talented player of that time - Andy Symonds.

England and complacency are Team India's strongest opponents at this stage. Unless the plucky Afghans can prove me wrong.

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