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Last Updated: Wednesday, 28 February 2007, 18:29 GMT
Agnew's World Cup verdict - India
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By Jonathan Agnew
BBC cricket correspondent

India
I would not be at all surprised if India, beaten finalists four years ago, actually won the World Cup this time around.

If I was a betting man I would back both them and Australia.

If you look through the India squad, you ask yourself 'How can they fail to do well?' There are some terrific players there.

They have three attacking top-order batsmen in Virender Sehwag, Sourav Ganguly and Robin Uthappa, who can all hit over the top.

Of them, the interesting one is Ganguly, someone with a wonderful World Cup pedigree but who was dropped from the one-day side for a while.

He did not see eye-to-eye with coach Greg Chappell initially, and the Australian had to swallow a bit of pride when the selectors picked Ganguly again.

But the former captain was determined to get back and he's repaid the faith shown in him.

INDIA: SEEDED 8
India team shot
India were surprise winners of the 1983 World Cup
Their best performance since then was reaching the 2003 final in Johannesburg
It's not just about early runs for India. Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar are the most experienced middle order pair there has ever been.

They have scored nearly 25,000 runs between them at an average of about 42.

Tendulkar's move to the middle order has been a good strategy. He will be even harder to dislodge now.

The Indian batting order goes down all the way, to the fantastic left-handed talents of Yuvraj Singh and the dashing Mahendra Dhoni, who is a bit of a maniac sometimes.

There is experience, again, in the shape of the two spinners Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble.

No other major teams will play two specialist spinners but you imagine they will both bowl well in the Caribbean.

Then there are the seamers, starting with young Shanthakumaran Sreesantch, a very talented bowler who can really swing the ball, old or new.

Ajit Agarkar knows all about one-day cricket, and Zaheer Khan is back in the side and bowling well after a wonderful season at Worcestershire.

There will be a lot of very disappointed Indian supporters if they don't get to the final at least.



SEE ALSO
India - Players to watch
22 Feb 07 |  India
World Cup form guide - India
19 Feb 07 |  Cricket
How the World Cup evolved
15 Feb 07 |  International Teams
Cricket World Cup records
14 Feb 07 |  Cricket
Cricket World Cup 2007 schedule
20 Jul 05 |  Cricket


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