The First Among Equals

by Devanshu Mehta

On paper, India is the best of the remaining teams in the World Cup. But on paper strength has never meant much. On paper, India should score 350+ every match. On paper, South Africa should have made the finals of every World Cup since ’92.

Not much separates the top eight teams in the world, mainly because the good teams are inconsistent and the average teams are tenacious. It’s a time of great turmoil, as many teams rush to replace Australia at the top of the world.

In such a tournament, there is no favorite. As the semi-finals are about to begin, there is no obvious choice. This is new territory– Australia have been favorites to win for over a decade now.

In such a tournament, the winner deserves to be the winner by virtue of having won. That is to say, if a team manages to win three knockout games in a row against top-8 opposition, they deserve to be crowned world champions.
The act of winning the World Cup will be the only thing that differentiates one of the remaining teams. And that is the characteristic of a great tournament.