New Delhi, Feb 2: Robust starts to India's innings by the opening duo of Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag would be crucial to the side's fortunes at the forthcoming ICC World Cup 2011, off-spinner Harbhajan Singh said on Wednesday.
"If Sachin and Sehwag stay together at the crease for the first 15 overs, it would be very difficult for the opposition to come back into the match," Harbhajan said.
After all, the same opening duo made quite an impact in the 2003 World Cup, for even though Sehwag wasn't in the best of touch during that tournament, Tendulkar more than compensated. Sachin finished up with the highest run aggregate in the tournament which won him the Man of the Series award.
This time around, both batsmen are in decent form and with injuuries notwithstanding, could prove quite a destructive combination in WC 2011.
Asked how and where he derives inspiration ahead of the big event, Bhajji points to the historic 1983 team which stunned one and all by lifting the World Cup.
"I am always reminded of the 1983 World Cup, have seen the clippings so many times."
Harbhajan's rapport with Tendulkar is well documented and the 'turbanator' is hoping that the Mumbaikar continues his hugely successful pairing with the Delhi dasher in the quadrennial extravaganza, starting February 19 in Bangladesh.
"Both Sachin and Sehwag are great cricketers and I hope they help us win the World Cup. Like all Indians, I am also looking forward to a good show in the World Cup," He said.
The off-spinner was in the Capital to support a campaign against road rage and drunken driving but refused to endorse those who tried to draw a parallel between road rage and sledging in cricket.
"Sledging is part and parcel of the game. It just adds a bit of momentum to the game and, as a cricketer, we don't carry anything off the field. Road rage is quite harmful and it hurts you for life long" he said.