New Delhi: Former captain Kapil Dev believes India are ready to win the ODI World Cup at home but he doesn’t want to put the favourite tag on the hosts as a lot would depend on luck.
“I think if we can come in top four, that is more important and then it will be about stroke of luck and everything,” Kapil said on the sidelines of the launch of the third edition of J&K Open to be held at Jammu Tawi Golf Course from October 4 to 7.
“We can’t say right now that we are favourites, of course our team is very good. Heart says something else, mind says no we have to work very hard. I know our team, I don’t know about other teams, so I would say it is unfair for me to give a blank answer.
“…as far as India team is concerned, it is ready to play and win the championships…they should play passionately, enjoy themselves.” India geared up for the World Cup with the Asia Cup triumph on Sunday. The 10-wicket victory against hosts Sri Lanka was set up by the pacers, who claimed all 10 wickets with Mohammed Siraj returning with magical figures of 6 for 21.
“It is wonderful (to see Siraj bowl). I feel so happy that nowadays in all continents our fast bowlers are taking all 10 wickets, that’s the cherry on the cake,” said India’s 1983 world cup winning captain.
“There was a time when we used to depend on spinners, it is not anymore, that’s why the strength of the team becomes so good.
Kapil, however, said as a fan he would have wanted to see a close match rather than a lop-sided final in Colombo.
“…what a fantastic cricket played! As a cricketer I would like to see much close games but as a player, I feel bowl them out for 30 and win. As a spectator, probably a little close matches would have been better.” India have a few fitness concerns ahead of the World Cup as some key players, including Axar Patel and Shreyas Iyer, suffered injuries during the Asia Cup.
While Axar is nursing both a wrist injury and a minor tear in his left quadricep, Iyer had a back spasms and played only two matches during the continental event.
“In any team, if any two main players get injured then it hurts the team’s fortunes. That’s why stroke of luck is required, because if your main player gets injured, the team’s balance gets disturbed,” Kapil said.
Kapil also lauded India opener Shubhman Gill.
“This is a youngster who we can look up to. He is the future of Indian cricket. Very very proud to have a player of that ability in India,” he said.
There has been a debate on the team selection with some senior players such as Shikhar Dhawan, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal missing the world cup bus.
Kapil, however, backed the selectors, led by Ajit Agarkar, for the picking the best Indian team for the World Cup.
“Those who are not there in the team, what’s the point talking about them. Everybody has their opinion. The selectors are better people than us, because they put their heads together and pick the best team.
“Selectors are doing their job. Just leave them alone. It is easy to point figures.” Kapil, who is also the Vice President of Professional Golf Tour of India (PGTI), was here to attend the launch of the J&K Open golf tournament.
The Rs. 50 lakh event, presented by J&K Tourism, will see top Indian professionals including Udayan Mane, Rashid Khan, defending champion Yuvraj Singh Sandhu and former champion Honey Baisoya, participating in the event.