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India the Superpower

Has there ever been a more dominant performance on the world stage?

New Zealand in the 2011 Rugby World Cup? Brazil at the 1970 FIFA World Cup? Maybe so. However, I doubt we’ve ever witnessed a team as powerful and dominant as India in the 2023 Cricket World Cup. Until the final hurdle…

They were almost unstoppable in every department: batting, bowling and fielding. Ten wins out of ten and just the final to go. It was an incredible achievement under such pressure and expectation from their adoring home fans.

Virat Kohli – India’s current most famous sporting God – was averaging over 95, including scoring three centuries in the tournament. In the group stage, he equalled Sachin Tendulkar for the most One Day International centuries (49) in history. Surpassed the record in the semi-final. He was out for 54 in the final…

Traditionally, India at home has beaten teams through the use of mystery spin on slow, crumbly wickets in exhausting heat. I remember watching England play a test match a few years ago where we were bowled out in a single session.

India dominated then. This time, it felt different.

Home advantage is one thing, but the 2023 World Cup was looking terrifyingly easy for India. Now – at this point, I have to admit I had this blog idea before Australia took us all by surprise and beat India by six wickets on Sunday. But – my points hopefully still stand.

50 Over Cricket is simply not a priority for most teams anymore. The England lads would much rather play golf. Even Australia seem to be getting bored of it. But the same can be said for India.

Indian fans and the Indian Board are much more interested in Twenty 20. Look at the Indian Premier League: founded in 2007, it didn’t take long for the IPL to become the most popular league in world cricket. And there’s a simple explanation why…

The Indian PL gives us an insight into much more than just cricket. It is a sign of economic strength. Only the NFL has a higher revenue per match, with the IPL TV rights going for £5.13bn in 2022 for the next five years.

India’s cricketing dominance is everywhere.

In May of this year, the International Cricket Council announced their new finance model. India received a staggering 38.5% of the $600 million annual earnings. The rest was shared between the other eleven test playing nations.

Cricket has gone from being the big three (England, Australia and India) to the big one very quickly. If India decides they don’t want to play test cricket anymore, then test cricket will end, and that is due to their economic strength.

India’s economy is growing at an exponential rate. Whilst the global economy goes from one crisis to the next, India is not slowing down.

As a country, they feel like they can’t be stopped. In August, they landed a spacecraft on the moon, showing their scientific & technological desires. They are transforming the nation’s infrastructure by spending billions on new roads, ports, airports and railways. Only the US, China, Germany and Japan now have a bigger economy than India.

Currently $3.5 trillion. And they’re not stopping there.

Narendra Modi, the Indian Prime Minister, aims to make India’s economy worth $5 trillion by 2025.

In 2023 alone, $120 billion will be spent on capital projects. The infrastructure growth isn’t just physical, it’s also digital. India’s biggest companies are following the government’s example and are spending billions on 5G and clean energy to ensure they can compete on a global scale.

Like the cricket team, however, the country still has challenges.

The levels of inequality are some of the highest worldwide. In a country of 1.4 billion – soon to be the most populated nation on earth – 35.5% of children under the age of five are stunted by child malnutrition. The percentage of illiteracy is widely believed to be a similar figure, and of the 1.4 billion, around 700 million people lack access to a toilet at home.

So it’s not all hitting sixes and bowling everyone out by lunch…

One thing is for certain, though: if India can convert their rapid growth to improving equality in the country, it could very quickly become the most powerful nation on earth.

And if not, the Aussies are always on hand to prove you should never discount the underdog.


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