World Cup fan view | Can India defend its crown?

  • Shiv Yuvraj
  • Updated: Feb 11, 2015 02:05 IST

No matter what the heart says, the head is saying "No".

The team has a very weak bowling attack and the batting is very dependent on Virat Kohli. We do have a good chance of reaching the quarter-finals because of the format.

There are many factors the lead me not to be confident about our defending the World Cup crown. Here are some of them:

1. Less experienced players
2. Out-of-form batsmen
3. Australian conditions
4. No wonder five - Yuvraj, Gambhir, Sehwag, Zaheer, Harbhajan
5. Kohli's form
6. Bowlers

Then there is the case of Stuart Binny. He deserves a fair shot because he has done well with the ball whenever given a chance and his batting is better than Ravindra Jadeja's.

At the moment, Axar Patel is in awful batting form, but his bowling is good. He might play a vital role in the death overs.

I would like Dhoni to field Umesh Yadav and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Yadav gives away a lot of runs, but has the ability to take wickets. Go with whoever you think can get you wickets.

The batting is where the bigger worry lies because this has always been regarded as our strength. However, as seen in the past, whenever the pitches have a bit of pace and movement, Indian batsmen find themselves in trouble. You can see them trying to survive. Most times, they don't.

Opener Shikhar Dhawan looks out of sorts. The good news is Ajinkya Rahane has been brilliant and Rohit Sharma has hit form. When we play abroad, the performance of openers becomes key. When we won the Champion's Trophy in 2013, Dhawan and Rohit were in great form.

Kohli at number three will decide how far India will progress in the World Cup; it is as simple as that. His poor form in the tri-series coincided with India's winless streak and given the clear incapability of the others in such conditions; the batting will revolve around him.

The less said about the other batsmen the better. You can expect a few flashes of brilliance from Suresh Raina, but he's probably not good enough for the better bowling attacks in the tournament on these grounds.

Ambati Rayudu, Ravichandran Ashwin and Jadeja have been disappointing.

Coming to Dhoni, he has the reputation of being the best finisher. His form is a concern and is responsible for imbalance in the middle order and performance in the death overs. India need him to strike form quickly.

To win the World Cup, we need in-form batsmen and bowlers and for everyone to play way beyond their potential.

(Views expressed by the writer are personal. If you want to share your thoughts on the game, mail your write-ups to

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