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Sachin has to take charge: Lara

India has a creditable and realistic chance of success in the World Cup final, but the obvious secret of success is being able to defeat what is an extremely powerful Australian side.

india Updated: Mar 23, 2003 00:24 IST

India has a creditable and realistic chance of success in the World Cup final, but the obvious secret of success is being able to defeat what is an extremely powerful Australian side.

To date, Australia's main strength has been its ability to remove the top orders of sides early in their innings thus removing the potential for an explosive finale to the innings and virtually putting a battting side on the back foot from the start.

If any team is to be successful against Australia it needs to concentrate on maintaining wickets and ideally have a strong opening stand.

If the two openers -- Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag, who have been playing excellent so far together can continue with the positive streak, leaving the middle order the opportunity to play with abandonment, then India can win the World Cup.

The Indian's have picked themselves up extremely well and this is appreciable. India and Australia are almost evenly balanced, but the main difference will be mental toughness.

This was obvious in the manner in which the Australians got themselves out of trouble enroute to the finals. The back-up players like Andy Bichel and Ian Harvey have done extremely well under pressure and it will be important for India that they get contributions from the back-up players.

The Indian batting line-up is strong, with the main batsmen among the runs. And the seamers are bowling extremely well. There is no doubt that Tendulkar has to lead the charge, but the others have to back themselves to perform on the day when it matters most.

I must mention the Indian batsmen cannot afford to give the advantage in the early overs.

Another key factor will be the way the fifth bowler's quota of overs is taken care of. The Indians have some problem in this area ,though they have a few options. The pitch at the Wanderers is a beauty and one can expect a high scoring final.

On an occasion like this, it is all about pressure and a lot will depend on which side handles it better on that day.

First Published: Mar 23, 2003 00:24 IST