The eleventh edition of the Cricket World Cup takes place from February 14 to March 29 in Australia and New Zealand. India (double world champion in 1983 and 2011) and Australia (quadruple winners in 1987, 1999, 2003 and 2007) face each other Thursday, March 26 in the semi-finals from 4:30 a.m., French time. At the Sydney Cricket Ground, the Australians are logically favorites, but they will have to be wary of an Indian team, defending champions (the event takes place every four years), which we did not expect at this level this time. -this.
In pool, however, it was India that finished undefeated, dominating in particular South Africa, the West Indies or the rival Pakistan, a summit meeting watched by more than a billion viewers. In the quarter-finals, the Indians took out Bangladesh. Australia lost once in pool against the New Zealanders before winning their other four matches. In the quarters, Pakistan did not resist the co-host country.
Before playing a new final against New Zealand, these two major cricketing nations with opposite styles will have to face each other harshly. Two players from the France team, one of Indian origin, the other of Australian origin, deliver their analysis of these respective crickets.
Arun Ayyavooraju has been the captain of the French cricket team for two years. Born in Karaikal, in the territory of Pondicherry, India, the young man is French by birth thanks to his grandfather, who fought for the French army during the First World War. He arrived at the age of 10 in France but made his debut as a cricketer in India.
- Cricket in India is like football in Brazil
“Even though field hockey has official status as a national sport, cricket is way ahead. We play in the street, everywhere, according to the means at our disposal, from the poorest to the richest. Some make the balls out of plastic or rubber, others make their own bat. It has a very artisanal side sometimes. I started playing there when I was 5 or 6 years old.
“You should know that today the Indian Federation leads world cricket. The Indian market generates I believe 70% of cricket revenue in the world. Inevitably, this translates into decision-making. Thanks to the Indian Premier League (IPL), a franchise championship created in 2008, the infrastructure has improved. All the best players in the world come to play the season in IPL, sometimes for crazy sums.
“In Australia, 75% of the spectators in the stadiums for India’s matches are Indians. They come from India but also from the diaspora. Against Australia in the semi-finals, some predict that 70% of the audience will be Indian. »
- Indians prefer batting and spin pitches
” Historically, India has always been strong at bat. Weaknesses were more on throwing and chasing (the players responsible for recovering the ball when it is hit by the batsman). The Indians have progressed in hunting and are now among the best.
“Before the World Cup, the throwers of the Indian team were very average. Predictors didn’t even see India in the semi-finals. You should know that the terrain is harder in Australia than in Asia. The ball bounces more and therefore promotes quick throws. Indian and Asian pitchers are more technical effect pitchers. However, to everyone’s surprise, the Indian pitchers have still excelled since the start of the competition. »
- Two players to watch: Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Virat Kohli
“Dhoni is the captain, wicketkeeper (the player behind the opposing batsman when his team throws) and batsman. He is from a small village near Ranchi, capital of the state of Jharkhand. He was already captain of the team during the last Indian success, at the 2011 World Cup, at home. Dhoni won as captain all possible competitions. He is one of the highest paid athletes in the world (22and in the standings Forbes of the highest paid athletes in the world, 30 million dollars in income). He competes in the IPL under the colors of Chennai Super Kings.
“Kohli is the vice-captain, originally from New Delhi. He’s the best hitter on the team. He also plays for the Royal Challengers Bangalore IPL franchise. At only 26 years old, he set out to break all batting records at the end of his career. »
Robin Murphy, 23, has been playing for France since 2010. He was born in Vaison-la-Romaine to an Australian father and an English mother. Former player of the Catus team (near Toulouse), he is about to join the Paris university club in April.
- Cricket is Australia’s summer sport
“There’s a huge sporting culture in Australia, an outside culture, barbecues. Cricket is therefore in the pure sense the summer sport of Australians. Sports such as rugby union, rugby union or Aussie rules are also popular. But rugby union is more localized in Sydney and its surroundings, Australian football is very established in Melbourne… The practice of cricket is integrated into the school system. We start in school and we play until high school.
“The highest level of Australian cricket is that of the States. In general, the gateway to the national team is the federal championship. Once you are under contract with the selection, you don’t really have time to play for a club or a state.
“Since 2011, Australia has emulated India by creating a franchise championship, the Big Bash League. There are eight teams, including two in Melbourne and two in Sydney. Foreign players participate from November to January. »
- A very professional cricket
“Pakistani or Indian players are usually said to be natural talents, while Australian players are more described as experienced, hard-working, physical and mentally strong players. They are true professionals who know their stuff. Launchers are fast throwers, who do not hesitate to intimidate the opponent. »
- Two players to watch: Mitchell Johnson and David Warner
“Johnson is a fast, left-handed pitcher. He terrorizes all drummers. Its casting speed is impressive, between 150 and 160 km/h. He often employs an intimidation technique by aiming for the batsman’s head through the rebound. The players dread playing against him, even if they dare not admit it. For two years, everything works for him.
“Warner is a drummer who broke all conventional frameworks. He did not pass by the championship of the States. It kind of came out of nowhere. The coach called him up in a Twenty20 match (the shortest version of cricket) against South Africa in 2008. Nobody knew him, and he is now one of the best batsmen in the world. He is very strong, very determined and takes pleasure in provoking his opponents, sometimes even insulting them. »