Johannesburg: Former South African bowler, and now a match referee, Mike Procter believes India is one of the major title contenders at the World Cup tournament starting on Sunday. "I have seen a lot of it recently and, if it can get its confidence back after playing on the poor New Zealand pitches, it will be dangerous," Procter, who was the referee during India's recent home series against West Indies, said.
"It can chase down huge targets, its bowling is better than most think and its fielding has improved," Procter was quoted as saying in the 'Natal Witness' on Thursday. But he placed South Africa alongside Australia as the top favourites to win the title. "I think the South Africans have prepared and selected well, given the guidelines, although I would have had Graeme Smith in the squad," Procter said. "Still, if the gods smile on them this time, South Africa can win." "Australia is a much stronger Test team than One-day outfit.
It can get away with its four specialist bowlers in the Tests but not in the One-dayers - and we have more depth to our batting." Procter was also of the view that New Zealand should not pull out of its World Cup game in Kenya. "I feel for the New Zealanders. They have twice had problems with bombs in Sri Lanka.
But, of course, this can happen anywhere in the world and ICC has taken the strictest measures to ensure the safety of the grounds. "If the ICC reckon it is safe to play in Nairobi, or Zimbabwe for that matter, then I think the games should go ahead," Procter said.