We can dream a little more of winning World Cup: Kapil

Published: Saturday, November 16, 2002, 20:42 [IST]
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Kolkata: Cricketing legend Kapil Dev on Saturday said the Indian team's incredible victory over the West Indies on Friday night at Ahmedabad had bolstered the nation's dreams of winning the World Cup, but running between the wickets and fielding still continued to be grey areas.

"It was a fantastic victory. These boys played extremely well. Now we can dream a little more about winning the World Cup next year in South Africa," Kapil told reporters. "But they must improve their running between the wickets and fielding. A team has to be good in these two vital departments to even think of winning the quadrennial showpiece," the former all-rounder, who led India to World Cup glory in 1983, said.

Kapil, however, pointed out that the Indian bowlers, save offie Harbhajan Singh, had 'looked shattered' against the onslaught by West Indies batsmen. Asked to comment on the Indian bowling, which has looked lack lustre in the one-day series so far, he said, "The problem with bowlers in One-dayers is that they do not swing the ball much, but only try to contain the rival batsmen. "But this is quite natural, because bowlers are afraid that if they go for big swings, the umpires will call wide. So, the captains always ask them to bowl straight and up to the batsmen." In this context, Kapil commented that one-day cricket has been more kind to the batsmen that bowlers.

"Other than bringing about tremendous improvement in fielding and running between wickets, the shorter version of the game propels batsmen to go for improvised shots. But it has put bowlers under lot more pressure." Returning to the swashbuckling display of the Indian batsmen at Ahmedabad, he said the current set of players were stronger than their predecessors. "They hit sixes like anything. Even (Sanjay) Bangar hit one across the boundary over point." Kapil, known for his aggressive batting during his playing days, however, said that the superior quality of bats available in the market now has also made stroke-making easy. Asked whether the Indian team had peaked too early before the World Cup, scheduled to be held in South Africa in Feburary-March next year, he said, "I think its okay to attain one's best two months prior to the big event." But Kapil cautioned the Indian players to guard against injury. "They are playing so much cricket.

So they must be careful," he added. Kapil also refused to draw comparison between his world beating team of 1983 and the current squad saying that it would be an injustice to the latter. "My team also had its weaknesses in aspects like running between wickets and fielding. But since we won, this has been forgotten. "So, in any comparison between the two sides, people would always rate my side higher as we attained success. This, I think, is unfair to the boys playing now."

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