The Big Picture: India takes guard as world chases one-day glory

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The Independent Online

India does not need a World Cup to ignite interest in cricket. The game is played avidly across the land, even in the heart of New Delhi, where numerous matches take place every weekend in the shadow of India Gate.

That said, the World Cup is big news in a country where Test cricket plays second-fiddle to the 50-over game. Many of those showing off their skills in the capital over the weekend would have had India's prospects in the forthcoming event on their minds. The modern game's financial powerhouse are well-placed to win their second world title (the first came in 1983, when India were far from powerhouses on or off the field) with their opening match coming on Saturday, against Bangladesh in Mirpur.

It is not just India, of course, who are hoping for a good tournament. One-day cricket needs a boost after the last World Cup, held in the West Indies in 2007, was an overlong bore. Organisers think that was a one-off: this year's event will also be long, with the final not taking place until Saturday 2 April.

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