Everything India have set out to do at this ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, they have managed, and that too easy as pie. Beat Pakistan, check; get that pressure liquid seeping into South Africa, check; don't trip up against the Associate sides, check; qualify for the quarterfinals, check; seal top spot after making the last-eight, check.
Against Ireland, India needed a win, any kind of win, to secure top spot in Pool B, and boy did they do just that. After being put under pressure early on by the Ireland openers on a peach of a batting pitch, the spinners bailed their fast bowlers out with some outstanding bowling, before the pacers cleaned up the tail to setup an easy chase for their batsmen.
The batsmen, of course, eased to victory, with over 13 overs to spare, and the win over Ireland in their first game in New Zealand at this CWC only emphasised just how well-rounded a team India are.
It would have been quite easy for a battle-weary, "jet-lagged" – as captain MS Dhoni put it -- India side to take their eyes off and let their guards down against an Ireland team desperate for victory to qualify for the quarterfinals. But instead, India came out full of confidence, fought through adversity early on, and came out with another dominant display.
Now Zimbabwe await in their final group game in Auckland, before the quarterfinal next week, most likely to be against Bangladesh. If that Bangladesh match is confirmed, then, like Sourav Ganguly said in the pre-show of the Ireland match on Star Sports, it is all about the semifinal now for India.
Let's face it, even if India lose against Zimbabwe, it will not change anything. Top place in Pool B is confirmed and they will play the fourth-placed team from Pool A at the MCG next Thursday. That fourth-placed team is likely to be Bangladesh, unless Sri Lanka suddenly decide to lose to Scotland and New Zealand end their five match perfect run against the upbeat Bangladeshis.
So, Bangladesh it is likely to be, and India, in this kind of form, should not really be too worried about their quarterfinal matchup. Yes, Bangladesh have won three out of their five matches at this CWC, with one being abandoned; yes, they outplayed England on Monday to seal the quarterfinal place; and yes, India know a thing or two about losing to Bangladesh in a World Cup.
But that was then and this is now – India are the world champions, and playing like one, while Bangladesh have not quite hit the heights expected from them eight years on from that famous – or infamous, depending on your point of view -- victory in the 2007 World Cup.
If India continue in the same vein, Bangladesh, even at 100 percent, will not be able to stop them, not with 80,000-odd fans cheering the team in blue.
So, the minimum now for India is the semifinal, and as much as MS Dhoni might want to say they are going to take it one game at a time, he will know that as well as anyone else. Reach the semifinal, play as good as they have done at this World Cup and a final, and probably more, at the MCG will beckon.