No way India are going to win the World Cup: Matthew Hayden
Former Australian opening batsman and two-time World Cup winner Matthew Hayden has said that India stand no chance of winning the 2015 World Cup Down Under, as their bowling attack doesn’t have the wherewithal to bowl out oppositions.
‘No chance India are defending their World Cup crown’
“India are no way going to win the World Cup,” Hayden told in an interview to Mumbai Mirror.
He added: “Because, every other team has pace battery working for them. India's new ball options are very ordinary. Stuart Binny is not the right bowler to start with. If the wicket is green, like in New Zealand, he can be asked to open the bowling. I think Yadav (Umesh) is an option but I don't think, at this level, Binny is the right choice.”
“Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and Shikhar Dhawan will all be needed to bat out of their skins. They are going to be chasing 380 in every match or will have to give that many runs to their bowlers to defend. It is not fair on the Indian batsmen to be put under so much pressure. That is why I repeat India have no chance to defend the World Cup.”
‘I feel sorry for MS Dhoni’
When it was pointed out to him that it was the same group of bowlers who helped India lift the Champions Trophy in England in 2013, Hayden said that the conditions on offer in England were unlike the ones on offer in Australia. He believes that the Indian pacers’ lack of speed and their inability to consistently hit the block hole in the death overs will cost the team dearly.
Hayden said: “But in different conditions I suppose. In Australia, you need a spearhead. Actually, two spearheads. You had one (Ishant Sharma) and he is out of the competition. Your current bowling attack suits green pitches but when was the last time there was a green wicket here in Australia. I think there has not been one since 1996. We have hard, flat, bouncy and dry pitches where raw pace matters.
He added: “I can feel sorry for MS. A country of 1.4 billion people cannot produce a strike bowler that the skipper needs to defend the World Cup. In Australia our population is equal to that of Mumbai, but we are spoilt for choice. James Pattinson, who bowls at high 140 and 150, is not there in the squad. Ryan Harris, the best fast bowler in the world according to me, is not part of the team,” the 43-year-old said.
“Firstly, velocity. Execution of death bowling is another weakness. Kumar (Bhuvneshwar) is capable of doing it - he did bowl some yorkers yesterday but with his pace, he needs to have great variations. The spinning options are quite pretty and they could think about going in with three spinners. Play all three and open with one of them. R Ashwin has done this many times in the IPL.”
‘Don't buy the theory that Indian players are tired’
He also brushed away talks of the Men in Blue being fatigued after playing a gruelling four-match Test series against Australia, which was followed by a Tri-series involving England as the third team.
“Rubbish. It must be same with Australia as well. All sides have been playing non-stop. I actually argue that playing consistently makes you better. I cannot take this excuse of tiredness. If they are tired, then the support staff is not doing a proper job,” he said.
Hayden, though, sounded optimistic about India’s chances with the bat, saying that they have a very good batting line-up and said that their biggest strength is chasing down big totals.
“You have got a wonderful batting lineup, one of the best in the tournament. You have enough options there as well, Rahane can bat at any number. Virat should come at No 3 though. You have got some good power hitters as well. Dhoni needs to skip up the order in order to finish the games. You can chase 350 runs, but you can't take 10 wickets. I am worried that you may lose to smaller sides (Ireland, UAE, Afghanistan).
“You have to play to your strengths. Bat, bat, bat. Your headline can be Matt says bat, bat, bat. The Indian team can be destructive with the bat. If you have to chase 380, chase it down. You can't be worried by the fact that you will have to be chasing down big totals. The batsmen have to take all the pressure on their shoulders,” he said.
He also felt that Australia and New Zealand would be among the favourites to win the World Cup this time around.
“South Africa are the favourites, followed by Australia. New Zealand come next and then maybe England,” he concluded.