Best chance for Team India to lift World Cup: Kirmani
The Indian team for the 2011 World Cup is one of the most well balanced units comprising maximum number of match winners, according to 1983 World Cup winning team member Syed Kirmani.cricket Updated: Jan 30, 2011 13:27 IST
The Indian team for the 2011 World Cup is one of the most well balanced units comprising maximum number of match winners, according to 1983 World Cup winning team member Syed Kirmani, who feels it is the best chance for the 'Men In Blue' to bag the coveted title.
"All the players from top to bottom are match winners. Anyone from the group is capable of winning the match for the country. Starting from captain (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni to iconic batsman (Sachin) Tendulkar to devastating (Virender) Sehwag to (Gautam) Gambhir, Yuvraj (Singh), Suresh Raina or Yusuf Pathan ... it could be just anyone.
"We have an extremely well balanced team and the best part is everyone seems to be in form," Kirmani said.
Asked if a second wicket keeper could have been a good option in case of an injury to regular Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the former stumper said it was not at all a worrying factor.
"We are playing in the sub continent and in our own environment so it would not be too difficult to bring in a replacement wicket keeper immediately in case of a casualty. So, probably taking this fact into consideration, the selection committee did not go in for a second wicket keeper," he said.
Stating that the current Indian squad is one of the favourites to lift the Cup, the 61 year old said he has been hoping and praying for the last 28 years for the country to bring back the glory.
"We have a very good chance this time as our side is a very competent one. They are equally competent, if not more, than some of the other teams. We have been hoping and praying for the last 28 years for India to lift the Cup again and it seems that this team has it in them to fulfil the wish," said the former India Test cricketer.
Kirmani admitted that the four time World champions Australia will be a weaker side compared to India, South Africa and England in the upcoming mega event but cautioned that the Kangaroos can never be taken for granted. "You never know, Australia can come back any time. You can never count them out. Obviously, the experienced players, who won the Cup thrice for the country are not there anymore but Aussies are in a process of re-establishing themselves."
"The youngsters will certainly take some time to reach that level. So, as a team they definitely look a little weaker at the moment as compared to some of the stronger sides like India, South Africa, England," he opined.
"But again if you look at the ongoing ODI series between England and Australia, the latter are doing well and the English, who thought it would be a cake-walk for them after their 3-1 Ashes victory, are finding it tough," added Kirmani.
Kirmani, who played 88 Tests, predicted that India, South Africa, England and Sri Lanka would make it to the semi finals of the mega event, starting February 19 in Dhaka, but warned that there could be a few surprises as well.