Wednesday, Oct 04, 2023

Kapil Dev’s Honest Take On India’s ODI World Cup Chances

Kapil Dev’s Honest Take On India’s ODI World Cup Chances

Former India captain Kapil Dev isn’t putting the favourite tag on the hosts as “a lot would depend on luck”

File image of Kapil Dev.
File image of Kapil Dev. AP Photo

Former India captain and 1983 one-day international (ODI) World Cup winner Kapil Dev believes a lot would depend on luck for India to win the ODI World Cup at home, and hence doesn't want to put the favourite tag on the hosts. (More Cricket News)

"I think we can make the top four. That is more important, and then it will be about luck," Kapil said at the launch of the third edition of J&K Open, to be held at the Jammu Tawi Golf Course from October 4 to 7.

"We can't say right now that we are the favourites, of course our team is very good. The heart says something else, the 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.

Kapil added: "As far as India are concerned, they are 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 a record-breaking performance of 6 for 21.

"It is wonderful to see Siraj bowl. I feel so happy that nowadays our fast bowlers are taking all 10 wickets in all conditions. 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, but 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 lopsided final in Colombo.

"As a player, I feel, ‘Bowl them out for 30 and win’. But as a spectator, probably a little close matche 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 tear in his left quadricep, Iyer had 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 a 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 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 panel of selectors, led by Ajit Agarkar, for the picking the best Indian team for the World Cup.

"What's the point talking about those who are not there in the team? Everybody has their opinion. The selectors are doing their job. Just leave them alone. It is easy to point figures."

(With PTI inputs)


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