Former India captain Rahul Dravid has labelled the 15-man India squad to be a ‘good and balanced team’ with Ambati Rayudu and Rishabh Pant being dropped. The prolific former India batsmen believes the decision to drop them may not matter in the end.
“India has a very good, balanced team for this World Cup,” he said in an interview to Times of India. “[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.”
In their most recent outing, India were beaten 3-2 by Australia in their own backyard. To make things worse for Indian team, they led the series 2-0 at one point. Dravid, however, believes the result will have little bearing at the World Cup.
The series, Dravid feels, was an aberration to the good cricket that the Indian team has played which has taken them to World No. 2 in the 50-over format. Not so surprisingly, India are considered as one of the favourites.
“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 stated.
“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.”
Dravid has experience of playing a World Cup in 1999 where he scored 461 runs to emerge as the highest run-scorer. During the tournament he scored two centuries at an average of 65.85. He reckons the conditions now are far different from back then.
“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.”