Kapil Dev: Just 30% chance of India making it to the last four | Crickit
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Kapil Dev: Just 30% chance of India making it to the last four

Oct 18, 2022 11:42 PM IST

The 1983 World Cup-winning skipper believes all-rounders will be vital for the performance of India at the T20 World Cup and beyond

Kapil Dev, the 1983 World Cup-winning captain and among the finest all-rounders of his era, believes a team's success in the T20 World Cup could depend on the number of all-rounders it has in the side.

Team India during a T20 World Cup warm-up match.(AP)
Team India during a T20 World Cup warm-up match.(AP)

“What more do you want in the side other than having all-rounders who could win matches for a side not only in the World Cup but in all other matches or events? A cricketer like Hardik Pandya has been quite useful for India,” Kapil Dev said on Tuesday at the sidelines of a promotional event here in Lucknow.

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“All-rounders are the key players of any side, and they become the strength of a team. An all-rounder like Hardik gives Rohit Sharma the liberty to make use of the sixth bowler in a match. He is a good batter, bowler and fielder too. Ravindra Jadeja is also a perfect all-rounder for India.

“Even in our days, we had plenty of all-rounders in the India team,” said Dev, who though didn’t sound confident about the chances of India in coming T20 World Cup in Australia.

“In T20 cricket, the team winning a match can lose the next... It’s a very difficult to talk about the chances of India winning the World Cup. The issue is can they make it to the top four? And I am concerned about their making it to the top four, only then anything can be said. For me, it’s just 30 % chance of India making it to the top (last) four.”

When asked about Pandya being dubbed as another ‘Kapil Dev”, the former India skipper said it was good someone followed him. "In our days too, we had idols, we used to follow them. It’s good that new benchmarks are being set by young cricketers. It’s a very good sign for a team and I believe that everyone should keep working hard to set much higher benchmarks.”

Terming Mohammed Shami a suitable replacement for the injured Jasprit Bumrah, Dev, 63, said: “He is a fine bowler and much would depend on how Rohit uses him. Nowadays injuries are the biggest problem for fast bowlers.”

On Suryakumar Yadav, he said a year ago, none spoke about the batter, but he has transformed into one of the finest batters in the world. “In fact, no one ever thought about Yadav being an impact player in the future, but he did great with his batting and forced the world to talk about him. Now, we can’t think about India without him.

“Having a batter like Suryakumar in the team in the company of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, a team automatically becomes strong,” he said.

Dev reiterated his stand that one should not feel pressure while playing cricket. “There is no word like pressure and there is no scope of being under pressure in cricket. One should play cricket for enjoyment and fun and not find himself under pressure,” he said. “One should enjoy his passion like actors, singers, painters etc. When a kid is born, he gets to play bat and ball, football or a tennis ball, you don’t give him a pencil or a pen. So take sports as fun, not as pressure.”

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