Cricket: World Cup - India blame downfall on points system

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The Independent Online
INDIA YESTERDAY expressed their disappointment with the format of the World Cup which they claim has worked against them and favoured Zimbabwe.

With Pakistan overcoming Zimbabwe at The Oval yesterday, India were eliminated from the World Cup which they won in 1983.

The Indian coach, Anshuman Gaekwad, said his team were frustrated they had suffered from the points allocation system designed to keep interest in the competition high throughout the second round.

"Zimbabwe deserve some credit for making the semi-finals but if you look at the teams they have lost to - England and Sri Lanka - we have beaten them convincingly," Gaekwad said yesterday. "The point they took from the rain-hit game [against New Zealand in the Super Sixes] makes it a little hard for us to take. I think the points system is a positive one but should have been left at the qualifying stage."

Instead, teams carried their points through to the Super Six stage. India, having lost to South Africa and Zimbabwe, entered the second stage without any points carried over. It left them with an uphill struggle, and defeat in the first game against Australia virtually destroyed any slim hopes they held.

Zimbabwe, on the other hand, took all four points through thanks to their victories in the first stage of the competition. The rained-off game against New Zealand earned them a fifth point which made it impossible for India to overhaul them. Even though Zimbabwe lost their final Super Six game yesterday, they are still favourites to qualify for the semi-finals.

"We've played pretty well through the whole tournament," said the Indian captain, Mohammad Azharuddin. "It's just the Zimbabwe game where we let ourselves down."

India meet New Zealand at Trent Bridge in their final game today.

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