Sourav Ganguly feels India will reach World Cup semi-finals
Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has stated that it will important for MS Dhoni’s men to keep themselves fresh at the World Cup to have a good chance of winning it and feels that they certainly possess the quality to win back-to-back World Cups. The 42-year-old also said that the present Indian team has several match-winners and aren't dependent on just one batsman to deliver the goods at all times.
India have many match-winners, says Ganguly
“In One-day Internationals, there are a lot of match-winners. Rohit Sharma is one, his 100 in Melbourne (Second ODI of the tri-series against Australia) was remarkable,” Ganguly said.
"It's been a long tour...four Tests in Australia where you've been battered, you been hit hard. The bowlers have run in and bowled 500 runs in every Test match, 300 runs in second innings whenever Australia has batted.
"So you can see it on Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav. When you see their body, you can make out from outside that they are tired. That's why I said in one of my interviews that I hope India don't qualify for the tri-series so that it gives them a break. I would rather have wanted them to come back for 3-4 days...unpack and then go back and play the World Cup.
"Yeah, I do give them a chance. In one-day cricket, I always give India a chance and with the format, we just have to get to the quarterfinals and then three games...anybody's game.”
Ganguly wants Dhoni to motivate young guns
Ganguly further said that Dhoni needs to ensure that the youngsters in the team are kept motivated at all times.
"When your team is not playing well then you have to find a way to get your team going, I was fortunate as I had Sachin, (Anil) Kumble, (Rahul) Dravid, (Javagal) Srinath and the likes. Every captain goes through ups and downs and his role is very important, as in last two months Indian team has not done well.
"He has to marshal his team, in 2011 Dhoni had Sachin (Tendulkar), (Virender) Sehwag, Yuvraj (Singh), and they all were experienced players, match winners. This is young side, young team, they all are trying to find their feet. Only Kohli is stand out other than the captain in one-day cricket,” the former left-handed batsman said.
Ganguly wants more from bowlers
One of India’s major worries in recent times has been their bowling at the end of an innings and Ganguly felt that currently, Mohammad Shami seems to be the only bowler to have cracked the death bowling code and Umesh Yadav could be another one who can be effective in the final overs.
"To be honest, at the moment it is only one Mohammad Shami, who I think is a very good death bowler. I expect a lot from Umesh Yadav. I think he is an underachiever, he is lot better bowler than what we see.
"The way Bhuvneshwar Kumar has bowled in one-day matches and Tests, he is not the Bhuvneshwar Kumar in England or the way we have seen in other parts of the world. I don't know whether he is still recovering from his injury," he said.
Ganguly also pointed out that India’s spinners won’t get a lot of turn on Australian pitches and will have to make the most of the bounce that will be on offer on those tracks.
"It may be at the end of the season, but wickets in World Cup would be prepared well, you won't get rank turners. Curators will prepare good pitches. There will be bounce, there will be carry. India will play West Indies in Perth, so different condition will have different bowlers and once you go to knockout stage, it depends on where you play and you decide," Ganguly added.
He also predicts that host nations – Australia and New Zealand – along with South Africa and India will make it to the semi-finals of the World Cup.