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Monday, 23 September, 2002, 10:41 GMT 11:41 UK
India World Cup contenders?
Indian skipper Sourav Ganguly has his eye on the World Cup
Sachin Tendulkar believes India are playing well enough to win the ICC Champions Trophy - and then go on to lift the World Cup.

Are India well set for a strong World Cup tilt?

This debate is now closed.

India mauled England by eight wickets in Colombo and followed up with an incredible comeback against South Africa to earn a place in the ICC Trophy final.

India won the tri-series tournament in England in July and their batting line-up is among the most belligerent and feared in international cricket.

However, there are still question marks over their bowling, which can lack teeth, and their fielding, which can be woeful at times.

Do India have what it takes to win the World Cup in February?


India's good batting form on the pitches of South Asia tells us nothing about the up and coming World Cup on the fast tracks of South Africa.


The Indian team has peaked at the right time
Alok Tomar, USA

With the bowling attack of a club level team, India stand no chance against the likes of South Africa, Australia and Pakistan. Although Indian batting is the best in the World, the next World Cup will be the bowlers' tournament.
Uzair Qadeer, USA

The Indian batting line up is strong, but the bowling side should be improved with at least one change. The wicket keeper is of great concern.
Anwar, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

I think India has been playing some good cricket, especially in their batting. India can win the World Cup easily if they continue their excellent batting and improve in their bowling.
Rohit Tangutootri, BVI/India

The Indian team has peaked at the right time. They have an extremely good balance of young and experienced players. The young blood in the Indian team has provided the much needed killer instinct which was missing for a long time.
Alok Tomar, USA

India have a very good chance of winning the World Cup. The problem of falling down under the pressure has settled, and the only remaining weakness is the strong fifth bowler. However, Zaheer and Nehra's work may nullify that.
Pramod Putta, USA

Belting a very ordinary bowling attack around the park does not mean India have what it takes to win the World Cup. Can they handle McGrath, Gillespie, Lee and Warne on a not-so-batting-friendly pitch?


Beating a third-rate team like England comprehensively does not qualify you to dream of a World Cup victory
Vivek Venkatesh, Canada (India)

And then, can India contain Gilchrist, Hayden, Ponting, Lehmann, Bevan and Martyn? That's what they're going to have to do to win a World Cup.
James S, Australia

As much as we would like India to win the World Cup, we are also aware of the inconsistencies in the performance of the Indian side. Further, a world cup winning team should have a right mix of bowling, batting and fielding. The present Indian side excels in batting and is still mediocre in the other two aspects of the game.
Vinod Muralidhar, India

India will not be in contention. Beating a third-rate team like England comprehensively does not qualify you to dream of a World Cup victory. Cricketing powerhouses like Australia and South Africa are set to battle out the World Cup final in my opinion.

India lack a specialist wicket-keeper, stinginess in the pace-bowling department and have a general low standard of fitness.
Vivek Venkatesh, Canada (India)

The major factor in the Indian wins in chasing huge targets recently has been the great nature of the pitch (both in Lord's and in Colombo). So it will be a bit too early to judge this Indian batting line-up just on their performance in the last two matches.

Let us give them some time to come up and prove themselves against the more professional sides like the Aussies and the South Africans. The key factor will be how well the youngsters cope with the pressure that the very act of playing in the World Cup produces, leave alone playing in a tough situation. So let's keep our fingers crossed.


India have a good captain and coach, and a great batting line-up
Sumit Bhatia, India

But this side generates a lot of hope, that's for sure. Maybe it's as good a side we have seen for quite some time, but the million dollar question is: is it good enough?
Shyam Bedbak, India

India certainly have shown promise and consistency during the past few months, but there still is a long way to the World Cup. India have a good captain and coach, and a great batting line-up. They need to find one wicket taking partner for Zaheer Khan, and use Agarkar in middle.

Also, the fielding has to be bettered to a great extent. Against SA, Aus and Pak, who have great all-round teams, India need to increase their level of performance and they will surely become world champs.
Sumit Bhatia, India

India sure is a major contender for the World Cup 2003. But they have to do something about their bowling line-up. But looks like we don't have anyone ready for the World Cup.

So we will have to do with what we have, and leave the rest to Sachin, Shewag, Saurav, Rahul, Kaif and Yuvraj. Yes, India will be the World Cup 2003 champions.
Ashok Chandan, India

By a process of elimination, it is pretty clear that India are contenders. Out of the 10 Test-playing nations, Zimbabwe have no real chance, West Indies look miserable, Sri Lanka are average on bouncy tracks, NZ without Cairns are a mediocre side, and even with him, are traditional underperformers.


The Indian bowling is still a weak link
Gopal, India

Pakistan can be very good or very bad, England are sure to pack their side with Collingwoods and Hollioakes - who can neither bat nor bowl, and SA look a pale shadow of the team that was so threatening in 1999.

So if anyone can stop Aus, it could be India. But in the euphoria of Sehwag - let us remember that the Indian bowling is still a weak link - we barely managed to defend 300 against Zimbabwe, and we haven't done all that well in one day games in SA/Zim.

Dravid's keeping wicket and Sehwag's opening has made this batting line up look impressive - but honestly, they haven't been tested by quality attacks yet.

I remember a Sports Talk a couple of years ago asking whether England were the best one day side in the world after their successful chase at Karachi. We all know whether that debate would end now.
Gopal, India

Sure, India have a chance to win the World Cup. If they continue the way they have been playing over the past few months, we will win for sure. Also, the tailenders need to contribute more with the bat and not throw their wickets.
Rahul, USA

India have a phenomenal, attacking batting line-up, easily the best in the world if everyone plays to their potential. But will the likes of Sehwag, Ganguly and Kaif be able to smack the likes of McGrath, Gillespie and Warne all around the park?


India need a fifth bowler
Sacheen Kulkarni, India

If the answer is yes then the Indians will be joint favourites with the Australians, despite the former's weaker bowling attack.
The Shadow, UK

The Indian team is certainly a strong contender for the World Cup. The batting is very settled now and performing consistently. It is the bowling that is slightly worrying.

India need a fifth bowler (in addition to the options of Sachin, Sehwag, Ganguly and Yuvraj). Considering that the South African wickets will be more conducive to fast bowlers, Agarkar should be the number seven for India.
Sacheen Kulkarni, India

India will go on to win the World Cup in South Africa, they have a great batting and bowling attack with some of the world's greats. Here's the team which will put Pakistan to shame. India World Champs 2003!
Sonny Bhat, England

With the quality of pace bowlers that Australia, South Africa and Pakistan have India will have to fight to the tooth to win any serious matches. I am sure they can find budding pace bowlers to strengthen their attack and balance the side.
Neel Bakshi, London, UK

As the master opener Gordon Greenidge once said: "Form is temporary but class is permanent" - fortunately for India (and all cricket fans) they have the one-day line up with enough of both to challenge for the World Cup.
Raj, USA


Srinath has always performed very well in South Africa
Ramesh Kashyap, Canada

India have one of the most exciting one day teams around. They just need to keep a level head, and motivate each other to win the World Cup.
Nilesh K, London, UK

India have a good batting line up, but they must improve on their fielding and find that third pace bowler who can give support to Zaheer and Nehra. We should try Youhanna and leave out Kumble.
Yatradeo Coomar, USA

Sehwag, Ganguly, Kaif, Tendulkar, Dravid, Y Singh, Kumble, H Singh, Khan, Srinath, Nehra (or Agarkar)...is enough to send shivers to most teams. India will have to up their level when playing against Australia and South Africa but they are capable of it.
Vineet Khandelwal, UK

India have a very good chance of winning the 2003 World Cup. All India need is a good fifth bowler. Srinath has always performed very well in South Africa. I would bring back Srinath to replace Laxman.
Ramesh Kashyap, Canada

Indians have shown the tendency of losing composure when they come under pressure. Lately the youngsters Yuvraj and Kaif have sort of filled that void, but only in the batting and fielding departments. The young seam bowling in Khan and Nehra is also coming good.


India are one of the top three contenders for the World Cup
Rohan Desai, India

Nevertheless they are no way near to the world-class figures like Mc Grath and Pollock. Harbhajan and Kumble are real good but remember, spin may not do a great deal on South African pitches.
Giri Senji, USA

I don't think it is a good idea to recall Srinath who has struggled with his fitness recently. The World Cup starts in five months and that will give enough experience to the current bowlers.
Manish, USA

Contenders? Definitely, but they still have a long way to go if they are to catch up with Australia. They are definitely vying for second spot though.
Dennis, Singapore/England

East or west, India is the best!
Raj, UK

With seven batsman India have chased large totals and won; maybe with five good bowlers and six batsman India could restrict the opposition a bit more and chase it! For me maybe Kaif/Yuvraj should bat at three and free up the seventh batsman slot for Banger or Srinath to come in.
Darsh, London, UK

Yes India are one of the top three contenders for the World Cup. They should continue with their seven batsmen strategy and get in Agarkar in place of Kumble as first change bowler.
Rohan Desai, India


All India need is another quaility seam bowler - Srinath
Dully, UK

India have a strong batting side no doubt. But at the same time England have an ordinary bowling attack. The real test of how good an Indian batting side is is going to be when India faces Australia, Pakistan and/or South Africa.
Asad, Pakistan/Canada

The current Indian team in one-day cricket is the best Indian one-day side ever, even better than the 1983 and 1985 sides. The only weakness is the pace attack and that could prove costly in South African conditions. But, even then, I would rate India to be the favourites after Australia.
Mathew Zacharia, United Arab Emirates

I agree with Parmjit, all India need is another quaility seam bowler - Srinath. The batting has great depth, even if Kaif is out. With Srinath in the side, I honestly believe India can win the Cup. COME ON SRINATH, YOU SHOULD BE OUT THERE IN SRI LANKA!
Dully, UK

It's too early to say. If you look at the teams in India's group you can't even guarantee them qualifying from the group stages. However, on current form you'd have to say that they are probably the second most likely team to win it if the Aussies don't.
Raj, UK

India have every chance in the World Cup, if they can get Srinath into the 11. The batting is fantastic. I would drop Laxman and include Srinath to give us a very well balanced attack. Keep Dravid as wicket-keeper, he is a fighter and will do the job
Parmjit Gill, England

12 leading teams do battle in Sri Lanka

Final

Semi-finals

Pool 1

Pool 2

Pool 3

Pool 4

Columnists

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STATISTICS
See also:

22 Sep 02 | ICC Champions Trophy
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