Eyeing WT20 glory at home...

When a World Cup is staged in India, it isn't just a World Cup. It's much bigger than that! It's an extravaganza; a festival of cricket where big things are expected from the home team. And if they don't live up to the expectations, there are a lot of people waiting with open swords. Just like 2011, the Indian junta expects the team to go all the way this time around too. And by the looks of it, the team won't disappoint.

India has been playing very good T20 cricket as of late. They white-washed Australia in Australia and recently, won an eight-nation tournament very convincingly. If they continue from where they had left off in the Asia Cup, they'll have a great chance of winning the prestigious trophy.

For the men in blue, surprisingly, the bowlers have impressed time and again in the recent past. The two pacers, Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah, with their unorthodox bowling actions have caused havoc for the opposition batsmen. The spin department looks settled as well, with Ashwin there as the mystery spinner. The batsmen, as has always been the case, are very skilful and dependable. All in all, the team looks really strong and well-balanced.

Although the Indians should fancy their chances, they can't afford to relax as other teams look dangerous as well. Pakistan and Australia, in particular, with their bowling, could give the Indians a run for their money. Moreover, the Proteas have been in red-hot form against India in the last three T20 matches that the two nations have played in India. Hence, as Faf du Plessis rightly said, it's an open tournament.

T20 cricket is really unpredictable and as we have seen before, a single over can change the outcome of the match. Such is the format that declaring a team as favourites before the start of the tournament is actually not right. India have the home advantage, but still, anything can happen. The last edition of the World T20 showed us that!

Sizzling Summer Days

It's vacation time, and students can be seen chilling out with friends and family. The holidays serve as the much required break after the exams. The possibilities are endless as there's a lot of free time to make use of. With the temperatures rising with each passing day, one needs to pursue happiness and health in order to have a memorable summer vacation.

A nice start to the day is essential. What better than an early morning walk in a park? Take someone along, and talk about things that interest you. Talk about wildlife, sports, philosophy and lifestyle. However, if the person walking with you is your grandfather, as is mostly the case with me, make it a point to listen attentively even if he talks on topics such as history, politics or economy. Get out of your comfort zone, and debate on topics that are new to you. At the same time, keep walking briskly, in order to keep in shape.

Plan ahead and stick to it. Decide on a skill or two you'd like to master. Read books, write, play a musical instrument or take up a course. Once you make up your mind, be diligent and committed. It's much easier said than done, especially in today's world. There are a number of distractions, including the television, internet and electronic gadgets. The idiot box is a major hazard, which can keep you from work. Learn to control yourself. Remember, it will benefit you in the long run!

Summer food is the best, as most people would agree. Desserts and drinks are the best part. A royal breakfast, a heavy lunch and a sumptuous dinner! Moreover, mouth-watering desserts and delicious drinks are served in the heat, which are very refreshing. Cold fruit juices and shakes are possible only during summers, and one should take full advantage of this facility during this time of the year.

Play! Live as if there's no tomorrow! Play indoor games when it's hot outside. Challenge yourself and challenge others. Remember, happiness is contagious. In the evening, play outdoors. Put your body on the line. Learn to handle pressure when it goes down to the wire. Eliminate complacency. There is so much that sport teaches us. Learn while you play!

Plan a vacation with friends or family. Visit a place you've never been to before. Explore the place. Learn about its culture, wildlife and people. Travelling is a great way of discovering yourself, as many people believe. We, Indians, are lucky to have been born and brought up in a diverse country such as ours. There are so many places to visit! Himachal in the north, Goa in the west, Kerala in the south and the seven sisters in the east.Take advantage of the rich heritage and varied culture that India has to offer.

Summer days are the most sought-after days of the year. Summer days are fun-filled and playful. They can be really productive and satisfying. The key is to keep it simple. Enjoy, but enjoy responsibly. Keep yourself busy. Work. Play. Travel.

Cricket World Cup 2015- The semifinals

Four very one-sided quarter-final matches have resulted in the advancement of four most deserving teams into the semi-finals. Pressure on the sides would be immense as they look to take a step forward towards lifting the Cup.It is that stage of the tournament where the skills won't matter. Infact, its the way the sides handle pressure that is going to make the difference. The first semi-final would see the 'chokers' face each other; a couple of teams which have qualified for the knockouts time and again only to succumb to pressure. On the other hand, the second semi-final would be contested between two teams who know how it feels to lift the prestigious trophy. The semi-finals would most certainly be thrilling and nerve-wracking and would pave the way for a dream final.

In the first semifinal, both the teams would look to carry on from where they left off in the quarter-finals. New Zealand have remained unbeaten in the tournament thus far, but, they'll have to start from scratch when they take on a strong South-African side. The Proteas have the most destructive bowling attack. It would be interesting to see what transpires when this bowling line-up takes on the likes of Brendon Mccullum and Martin Guptill. The Proteas, known for repeatedly choking at crunch situations, would want to go all the way this time around. The Black Caps, though, stand in way of the South-African dream. Infact, the Blacks enjoy home advantage and thus, according to me, hold slight edge over South Africa in this contest.

It was four years ago when India eliminated Australia from the 2011 World Cup, thus preventing Australia from winning the Cup for the fourth consecutive time. Australia would like to return the favour this time around, and they have a great chance of doing so as they enjoy home advantage. Moreover, the Aussies would rely on their quicks, who have been very impressive in the tournament so far, to deliver the goods one more time. India, on the other hand, depend massively on their batsmen. They would want a couple of their batsmen to score big and keep the opposition bowlers at bay. The toss is expected to play a huge role in this game, as the team batting first would have a clear advantage. Australia, as of now, have an all-round and a well balanced team. They seem to be the stronger team on paper and thus, according to me, have a greater chance of making it to the finals.

Though the home teams seem to have their noses slightly in front, its hard to say which two teams would find themselves in Melbourne on the 29th of this month. The final knockouts of this World Cup have the potential to be classics, as many experts would agree. Any of the four teams can end up victorious, and thats the beauty of it.

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