The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Kapil rates India behind champions
- ‘Aussies still formidable’

Jaipur: Former India captain Kapil Dev said on Monday that India sometimes lacked the passion and could be seeded only behind favourites Australia to win the World Cup in the West Indies.

“I am no fortune teller. But as an Indian my heart says that India should win but the mind is not convinced. I hope the Indian team overcomes hiccups like injuries and gets into proper rhythm,” he said.

“They should soon get into the act and they should keep up the intensity through out the tournament to lift the World Cup in the West Indies,” he said.

Asked what was special in his 1983 champion team and its difference between the present team, Kapil said “the 1983 team had the intensity and passion, while the present team misses it sometime.

“Regarding the difference, it is bound to be there, aap me aur aapke baap main koi to fark hoga hi (there has to have difference between your father and you),” he said.

On Sourav Ganguly’s comeback, he said: “He (Sourav) has proved himself but I still believe that the way he was humiliated , he should have quit the game at that point of time. I would have said good bye to cricket, had I been treated in that manner.

“It was wrong to treat a player of his stature so shabbily,” Kapil added.

Kapil denied that he criticised Sachin Tendulkar being made the vice-captain of the Indian team.

“I still feel Sourav was very successful captain and was pushed out. Since he is back with a bang why should not he be granted the vice-captaincy, and especially when Sachin has never shown his inclination for the post'

“But, we should not talk about such controversial matters now because it would confuse the boys,” he added.

Kapil refused to comment on the questions related to the team selection. “Selectors have already announced the squad, now we should back the selected squad, any comment now will certainly add to the confusion.”

He did not give much importance to Australia’s recent defeats. “We should not read much out of these defeats. They still are formidable. The only result of these defeats is that they have given new lease of life to hopes of other teams. This would make the World Cup more interesting.”

He also made light of India’s below-par performance during their tour of the West Indies last year. “We did perform poorly there but it makes no difference now. We have to start afresh and think positively,” he said.

Kapil declined to comment whether Virender Sehwag, Robin Uthappa and Mahendra Singh Dhoni would succeed on the West Indian wickets.

“All we know is that the wickets are being relaid there. How they are going to behave nobody is sure,” he said.

Asked if absence of Brett Lee and doubts about Shoaib Akhtar’s participation would take the sheen out of the World Cup, Kapil said “no individual make much difference.

“It is open for all. If somebody could not make it due to one reason or the other it doesn’t mean the charm is gone. World Cup has its own thrill,” he said. (PTI)

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