India news September 4, 2014

India strong contenders for World Cup - Tendulkar

ESPNcricinfo staff

Sachin Tendulkar has said that defending champions India were strong contenders for the World Cup in Australia and New Zealand due to the versatility of their team. After being battered in the Test series in England, India hit form in the ODIs, and took the series with a commanding nine-wicket win in Edgbaston. They lead the series 3-0 with one match to play.

"India is definitely among the strong contenders for the title. It is a well balanced side and is tough to beat," Tendulkar told the Hindu. "It is a versatile ODI team. There is depth in batting and variety in bowling. And the fielding has been brilliant."

The turnaround for India started at Cardiff, where Suresh Raina, who joined in for the ODIs, rescued the team with a century before annihilating England with spin. Since then, the team has shown improvement with every game, with the seamers picking up wickets too. At Edgbaston, Ajinkya Rahane continued to show good form and registered his maiden ODI century while Shikhar Dhawan, who had been out of form, added an unbeaten 97. Tendulkar said the current composition boded well.

"If you look at batting, there is a good mix of the right and the left-handers," he said. "When a right-left combination is at the crease, it becomes a lot harder for the bowlers. They have to find the right line. In bowling, the Indians have been bowling well in partnerships. There are some good pace and spin options at different stages of the innings."

Tendulkar was also hopeful that India would fight back in Tests in future. "I know the cricketers in this Indian team," he said. "I know what they are capable of. This team will come back in Tests. I want to look at things with a positive mindset.

"Look at the way the Indians have come back in the one-day series. The team has shown a lot of fight."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Naresh on September 9, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    A big disappointment is "Unmukt Chand" the former U19 WC player who won the WC in OZ but has not kicked on since then.

  • Naresh on September 9, 2014, 6:37 GMT

    @SLsup - No IF's, But's - a win is a win. SL supporters should accept that. We dont have a great bowling unit and we acknowledge that we are not the favorites.

  • c on September 7, 2014, 4:05 GMT

    Johnny_129: You should look closely at the scorecard of the 2011 WC in IND. Without going too far into the details of what became quite obvious in the days that followed (including Sangakkara's resigning from Captaincy) you may notice that SL lost that WC final with only 8 balls to spare while at one point they were cruising to a win. Inexpicably (on the day) Murali and Malinga were held back in the death for 3 overs (18 balls)! SO...

    Perhaps it is not Chris Silva you should ask Why. Try writing to the Presidential Secretariate in SL! : )

  • raj on September 6, 2014, 12:42 GMT

    Chris Silva on (September 5, 2014, 20:47 GMT) - Not sure what you talking about, can you pls elaborate? All I saw was Gambhir and Dhoni play great innings after the early loss of Sehwag and unlucky dismissal of the great SRT. India was the dominant team of the tournament and fittingly won the WC. Am I wrong??

  • Dummy4 on September 5, 2014, 20:47 GMT

    Do not forget how India grabbed the WC ODI. SL were well on course. We all know what happened and the rest is history. India cannot beat SL on normal conditions of play. They did everything under the sun to get SL to give them the victory.

    Disgraceful. India is the last team to win the WC. It is between Australia and Sri Lanka.

  • Kay on September 5, 2014, 14:48 GMT

    Australia have got to be favorites for the WC at this point in time. Especially as it is played at home. You'd have to be smoking something pretty strong to think that India even stand a chance next year. As long as the ball bounces above the knees and there is a hint of swing early on this inept indian team will do exceptionally well to bat for 40 overs.

  • Dummy4 on September 5, 2014, 12:35 GMT

    Besides Australia, no other team can even think of boasting to be better than india in odis i.e. True they have lost some odi series. but they have won far more wc titles than any of the teams around...again barring australia. so if ur an aussie, u have more than a good reason of commenting here. Other fans, whatever you say, sorry your cupboard pales in comparison to india's trophies, esp the wc trophies, in our cupboard. It is ok to say ull beat india but to belittle india and speak on being superior, sorry cant buy that. and please dont start the number of matches stats, its irrelevant as in that case wi is still the best team as they have won more matches in a period of 30 years against most teams....but are they!? sl or any other team havent won that many titles to even think of saying they are better than india. but they have heart breakingly reached so many finals, and i feel for them..esp for mahela and under mahela! So as it stands, its india the best odi team,after aus i.e.!

  • Manesh on September 5, 2014, 10:50 GMT

    @Sinhaya. We are the World champions! According to us, WC>Asiacup or CT>Asiacup. Do not know what it meant for you! You care about Dhoni very well. You will not forgot WC final and other games..

  • Dummy4 on September 5, 2014, 9:28 GMT

    @ sidh78 WC2003 & VB series 2008 Aus was due to Sachin my other comment. T20 success cannot be counted towards ODI bcz it is all different ball game & plz dont bring in U19............Only successes that count are Natwest 2002 & CT

  • Muhammad on September 5, 2014, 8:50 GMT

    Australia are favorites to win the cup and no other team comes near them. But if we rank teams on the basis of chances of winning the world cup, the list would look like this:

    1. Australia 2. New Zealand 3. Sri Lanka 4. South Africa 5. India 6. Pakistan 7. England 8. West Indies

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