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Rahul Dravid
Cricket World Cup

India have 'a very good, balanced' World Cup squad – Rahul Dravid

India news

Rahul Dravid, the former India captain, believed India's recent 2-3 loss to Australia in a home one-day international series will have little bearing on their ICC Men's Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign.

After securing a 2-0 lead in the five-match series last month, India failed to contain a resurgent Australian outfit and lost three games on trot. However, that was an aberration – their fantastic form over the last few years has propelled them to No. 2 on the MRF Tyres ICC ODI Team Rankings, and they're considered one of the favourites for the World Cup.

"In the last 30 months, India has been playing really well, and the loss, much to the credit [of] the way Australia played, came at the back end of a very busy series," he told Times of India.

"We have the right combination for the World Cup. If India wins the World Cup, we will not be worrying about who won 2-3 or 3-2. There will be an odd series that India will lose. But the [ICC] rankings prove that India is there and should win the World Cup to become No.1."

Inevitably, Dravid was asked of the India's 15-man World Cup squad, and the decision to drop Ambati Rayudu and Rishabh Pant, but he believed India's squad is so well-balanced that it won't matter in the end. "India has a very good, balanced team for this World Cup," he said.

"[They have] a lot of combinations, lot of options. It is a question of them performing in the tournament. You can always argue one or two cases, one or two names. The team has been picked, [now] back it and hope they do really well."

Dravid was a part of the Indian side that toured England for the 1999 World Cup
Dravid was a part of the Indian side that toured England for the 1999 World Cup

England last hosted a World Cup in 1999, and Dravid, who was the highest run-scorer in that edition, with 461 runs at 65.85 and two centuries, said the conditions would be vastly different now. "I expect the games to be totally different than in 1999, when England last hosted the World Cup, which was a slightly low-scoring affair," he recalled.

"This World Cup will probably be a much high scoring one, and India is well equipped for that. English conditions have actually changed, especially for ODIs. We were there last year for [an] 'A' series, and the scores were really high – 300 was par score, and was being chased consistently.

"ODIs have changed in England and [you] can't go with the typical mindset that it will be the old English conditions [of swing and seam]. Wickets have become flatter, encouraging higher scores."

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