1983 World Cup-winning captain of the Indian team Kapil Dev believes Rohit Sharma and co. are ready to win the upcoming ICC World Cup 2023 at home but he doesn’t want to put the favorite tag on the hosts as a lot would depend on luck.
India geared up for the World Cup with the Asia Cup triumph on Sunday. The 10-wicket victory against hosts Sri Lanka was set up by the pacers, who claimed all 10 wickets with Mohammed Siraj returning with magical figures of 6 for 21.
“I think if we can come in the top four, that is more important and then it will be about the stroke of luck and everything. We can’t say right now that we are favorites, of course, our team is very good. Heart says something else, mind says no we have to work very hard.
I know our team, but I don’t know about other teams, so I would say it is unfair for me to give a blank answer. As far as the India team is concerned, it is ready to play and win the championships…they should play passionately, enjoy themselves,” Kapil Dev said at the launch of the third edition of the J&K Open golf Tournament.
He was all praises for Mohammed Siraj whose 6/21 helped India defeat Sri Lanka by 10 wickets in the Asia Cup 2023 final.
“It is wonderful (to see Siraj bowl). I feel so happy that nowadays in all continents our fast bowlers are taking all 10 wickets, that’s the cherry on the cake. There was a time when we used to depend on spinners, it is not anymore, that’s why the strength of the team has become so good,” Dev added.
Kapil, however, said as a fan he would have wanted to see a close match rather than a lop-sided final in Colombo.
“What a fantastic cricket played! As a cricketer, I would like to see many close games but as a player, I feel bowl them out for 30 and win. As a spectator, probably a little closer matches would have been better,” he said.
Kapil Dev also opined on the injuries concern faced by the Indian team as Akshar Patel is nursing both a wrist injury and a minor tear in his left quadricep, and Shreyas Iyer had back spasms. He also lauded young opener Shubman Gill.
“In any team, if any two main players get injured then it hurts the team’s fortunes. That’s why a stroke of luck is required because if your main player gets injured, the team’s balance gets disturbed.
He is a youngster who we can look up to. He is the future of Indian cricket. Very very proud to have a player of that ability in India,” he said.
Kapil backed the selectors, led by Ajit Agarkar, for picking the best Indian team for the World Cup, amidst debate on leaving Shikhar Dhawan, Yuzvendra Chahal, and R Ashwin out of the squad.
“Those who are not there in the team, what’s the point talking about them. Everybody has their opinion. The selectors are better people than us because they put their heads together and pick the best team. Selectors are doing their job. Just leave them alone. It is easy to point figures.” Kapil concluded.