23 January 2011
Gavaskar backs India to win ICC CWC 2011
The former skipper feels the Indian team has been playing "some very good cricket" over the last year and a half
Sunil Gavaskar feels MS Dhoni's (in pic) team is capable of breaking the home jinx.
"The Indian squad has got a terrific blend of experience and youth and it also has got a good balance, good feel about it," Gavaskar said.
"I think this Indian team has got a terrific chance of breaking the jinx of the host country not winning the World Cup. I believe this team has got the capability of winning the World Cup," Gavaskar said.
The former skipper, who is in Boston on a private visit, said the Indian team has been playing "some very good cricket" over the last year and a half.
He said Indians should extend their full support to the team and not "discourage" the players by "talking about selections".
Gavaskar, however, pointed out that the one weakness he sees in the team is in the fielding.
"There are certain bowlers in the team who are not exactly fleet-footed. That can make a little bit of difference but if they are used shrewdly by the captain. I don't see too much of a problem," he said.
The ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 begins on 19 February and is being hosted by India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
Gavaskar said playing on home turf will work in favour of the men in blue since the 15-member squad would be aware of the local conditions like weather, pitches as well as have the overwhelming support of the public.
Gavaskar added that while the "pluses (of India playing on home turf) overcome the minuses", the "expectation of the public" could distract the players.
He said unlike the previous three editions, when Australia was the dominant side and a firm favourite, "the 2011 World Cup is going to be a very open World Cup.
"There are other teams who can spring a surprise and who are capable of lifting the cup this time around. It is really a format that rewards form on the day of the match. There could be a situation where a good team could just have one of those off days," he said.
"It will be crucial for a team to maintain the intensity and bring out its best. Whichever team feels better than the other team is going to make the cut," Gavaskar added.
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