Big expectations of youngsters in WC: Bhajji

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Published: Monday, January 31, 2011, 11:29 [IST]
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Harbhajan Singh is a man on a mission - winning the World Cup. The ace off-spinner believes India has the right stuff to bring home the coveted trophy. Speaking to a leading Indian newspaper, he also pointed out that India are holding a trump card in terms of being well-acclimated to the conditions in the sub-continent.

"We have the edge in home conditions," said Bhajji. "Don't forget One-Day cricket is a batsman's game. Also, the small grounds means small boundaries and that will be a handicap. Besides, wickets in Bangalore and Nagpur are known to have good bounce for the pacers."

Asked whether India's recent loss to South Africa in the ODI series in the Rainbow Nation would have any bearing on Inid'a World Cup campaign, Bhajji categorically said it wouldn't. Bhajji pointed that India has upped trheir game in previous World Cups, stariting the tournament afresh.

"If you remember, we had a disastrous tour of New Zealand (in 2002-03) where we lost in both Test and ODI series," he said. "But when we played in the World Cup (2003), it was a different story. We dominated New Zealand and went on to play the final. That's why I feel that a bilateral series can never be an indicator to a team's performance in a big event."

Bhajji also lauded the new stock of Indian cricketers who will be playing their first World Cup and said that the team and the fans had much to look forward to from them.

"I have loads of expectations from guys like Virat [Kohli], Yusuf [Pathan] and [Suresh] Raina" said Bhajji."Praveen [Kumar] is a street-smart cricketer and he thrives in most conditions because of his ability to move the ball.They have had enough exposure in international cricket and I am really hopeful that they would come up trumps."

Bhajji said the team would strive hard to win the cup both for the nation and as a tribute to the oldest member in their team and a veteran of five World Cups thus far - Sachin Tendulkar. "The entire country knows his contribution towards the game. So, winning the World Cup will not only mean fulfilling everyone's dream but that will also be Team India's biggest gift to Sachin Tendulkar."


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