Bengaluru, Jan 31: Will Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni be able to do do a Clive Lloyd or Ricky Ponting in this year's ICC Cricket World Cup? Or will he experience the fate of Arjuna Ranatunga and Allan Border?
Clive Lloyd of the West Indies and Ricky Ponting of Australia are the only captains who successfully defended their maiden World Cup title wins at the quadrennial tournament.
While Lloyd successfully defended the trophy in 1979 after winning it in 1975 and even led the Caribbeans to the finals for the third consecutive time in 1983 before losing to Kapil Dev's India, Ponting led Australia to back-to-back World Cup wins in 2003 and 2007.
Dhoni and his men will take the fields at Adelaide against Pakistan on February 15 to begin their defending campaign Down Under. Can MSD defend his 2011 title?
Given India's current form, not many are optimistic. After the team crashed out of the tri-series ahead of the World Cup, one is suspecting whether Dhoni could face the fate of Border in 1992 and Ranatunga in 1999.
In 1992, Border-led Australia played the World Cup at home and everybody thought they were the favourites to defend their 1987 title. But the men in yellow failed to make even the semifinals after suffering some big losses to co-hosts New Zealand and debutants South Africa. They ended sixth out of nine teams that took part in that World Cup.
In 1999, Arjuna Ranatunga led Sri Lanka in England to defend their 1996 title but could not cross the group stages. The Lankans finished just above lowly Kenya in the groups after facing heavy defeats against hosts England, India and South Africa.