Durban: appreciating the large-scale support for them in South Africa, Indian cricket players on Sunday said they were expecting the local fans to back them throughout the World Cup beginning this weekend. Batting sensation Virendar Sehwag said the team was encouraged by the support they have been getting from the local fans here with the World Cup yet to start.
"Such support encourages us to perform better and I hope that the local people will not disappoint us," he said. Spinner Anil Kumble, a veteran in the team at 32, agreed that the people of South Africa had been very supportive of India in the past and he hoped they would continue to do so. "Although a large contingent of Indian fans will be arriving for the tournament, we really need the local support as well," he said.
Kumble's 22-year-old spin partner Harbhajan Singh, who has captured the attention of the locals with his friendly attitude, echoed the view. "If we have people cheering us it makes us feel that we are being appreciated and we go on to perform well," he said. He said the people in Durban, which has a sizeable number of Indian-origin families, were making their visit very pleasant and he hoped that they would maintain same attitude during the tournament also.