Dravid: Wicket-takers in the middle overs will help India

The tournament kicks off on May 30 with the grand finale slated for July at the Lord’s

By PTI in Mumbai
  • Published 18.05.19, 4:34 AM
  • Updated 18.05.19, 4:34 AM
  • 2 mins read
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Rahul Dravid in Mumbai on Friday. (PTI)

Rahul Dravid said that the presence of wicket-taking bowlers would greatly benefit India in the middle overs of what is expected to be a high-scoring World Cup.

Alongside hosts England and Australia, India will enter the ICC showpiece as one of the favourites. The tournament kicks off on May 30 with the grand finale slated for July at the Lord’s.

“In a World Cup, I believe, having experienced some of the conditions in England last year during the A tour, it would be a high-scoring World Cup. And in a high scoring WC, having bowlers who can take wickets in the middle overs will be very important.

“I think India is lucky in that regard,” Dravid said here on Friday.

The former India captain added: “People like (Jasprit) Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are bowlers who can take wickets.

“Teams that are taking wickets through those middle overs in those high-scoring games have a better chance of restricting the opposition.”

India played their last international on March 13, after which the IPL kicked off. While the loss in the five-match series to Australia at home came as a shock, India have done well in ODIs over the past year, scripting a historic series win in South Africa. They have also won in Australia and New Zealand.

Dravid took into considerations these victories while talking about India’s prospects in the World Cup. “I think we have had a couple of really good years leading to the World Cup.

“For the right reasons, we are No. 2 in the World and that actually means we have consistently produced some successful results in the last two and half years. We can be hopeful…

“I think it’s going to be a tough World Cup. Every team comes well prepared and wants to compete. Everyone in the World Cup will be putting his best foot forward.

“So, having said that, I would add that India are definitely one of the favourites in the tournament and all of us can be hopeful. Hopefully, we make the semi-final and from thereon, there are four very good teams,” Dravid said.

“Bowling is going to play a very big role in this World Cup and the team that bowls best, probably will be closer to winning it.”

The legendary batsman also showered accolades on current captain Virat Kohli. “Virat, you know, he just keeps improving, keeps getting better. He is setting bars and standards that possibly we thought would never be achieved.

“Sachin (Tendulkar) scored 49 hundreds in one-day cricket. People thought that this would take a lot of time to be touched… Or if it would ever be touched… And now Virat is close to it...

“One of the things about Virat is that even if he has a bad tour — it is not that he hasn’t had bad tours… he had a disappointing tour of England in 2014, he wasn’t as successful in Australia first time around, but every time he goes back, he returns as a better player.

“He sort of reinvents his game to a point where he is constantly improving,” Dravid emphasised.