August 10, 2020
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"I'll Concentrate On Winning"

Indian skipper Mohammed Azharuddin goes into World Cup 1996 with an enviable career graph. He's the most successful Indian captain—he has 53 wins out of 102 one-dayers. And, he is yet to lose a one-day series at home. But Azhar tells that he still ha

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"I'll Concentrate On Winning"

You seem to have gathered many critics of late, especially ex-players.

Why bother about such criticism? My job is to play cricket and lead the team from the front. Let me concentrate on making sure India win the World Cup for the second time.

Are you satisfied with the team's performance?

Yes and no. Yes, since we could defeat New Zealand in the recent series. No, because the team could not perform to its full strength.

Which department do you feel needs most strengthening?

Obviously, the middle order batting.

Will playing at home help or hinder our chances?

Certainly it should help. But the pressure on the team would be tremendous.

How would you assess yourself as a leader?

That people like you and the selectors should say. How can I say anything about myself?

Do you think Sachin Tendulkar is wasted as an opener?

I don't think so.

Are you concerned by his lean run?

I am confident that he will soon overcome it.

Any plans to return to county cricket?

As of now, no plans. Let me think over it.

Are you feeling the pressure of the nation's expectations?

Of course, the pressure is on. But it's on every one of us. It's our duty to ensure that we regain the Cup which the country last won in 1983.

Finally, how do you rate our chances in the World Cup?

Very bright.

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