Former India captain Kapil Dev has come out in support of the current Indian cricket team even though they have not been able to win an ICC tournament in the recent past. He added that winning trophies is also a matter of luck and assured that the Indian team's time would surely come.
Kapil Dev shared his thoughts about his cricketing career and the current standards of Indian cricket in an exclusive interaction on Sportskeeda's new series Free Hit, hosted by Indranil Basu and Shanivi Sadana.
On being asked why the current Indian team has not been able to win ICC tournaments even though they possess the best batsmen and bowlers, Kapil Dev responded that the most welcome aspect is that the Indian team believes that they can win even though they may not have been able to cross the hurdle until now.
"Today the most positive thing is you start thinking we are good enough. That is a big step, we say we can win this tournament. If we don't win that's fine but at least you start believing it."
The former all-rounder also expressed confidence that the Indian team would surely go on to win the titles in the near future, while adding that he is not the best person to answer why they have not done so in the recent past.
"The time will come, you will win. Indian team is doing so well, so one should be happy. If you ask me why they are not winning, I don’t have an answer. Only the people who are playing or the close ones can answer that question."
Kapil Dev mentioned that the Indian team has been performing much better than what anyone had expected and iterated that the ICC trophies would also follow with a bit of fortune on their side.
"Sometimes you need a stroke of luck also. Let's say how good Indian team is playing. I am a positive person, I don't look at the negative side."
"I have said these cricketers have done much better than what we imagined. Time will come when they will win trophies and they’ve done it also."
"If you say they are the No.1 team on paper, yes, they haven’t won ICC trophies in the last 4-5 years but it will come. I have no doubt, they are a good enough team to handle the situation."
On being asked if the Indian team was missing someone like Kapil Dev, he responded that the team's middle-order was perfectly fine and that each player has a particular role to perform.
"I think the middle order, one should say they are good enough and they will find a person who will take them."
"Every member is not someone who can win the matches, there is somebody who make the matches, somebody who has the extraordinary ability to win the matches, so they have to make a team out of that."
Kapil Dev on the progress made by the Indian team
Kapil Dev was also asked why the Indian team was not as dominant as the West Indians of the 70s and 80s or the Australians of the 90s and 2000s.
The Haryana hurricane looked at the positive side and highlighted the progress the Indian team had made, from being considered as no-hopers whenever they toured away from home to now believing that they could emerge as the victors.
"Look at the last 15 years, where to where the Indian team has come out, let’s give credit. There was a time when we used to go to Australia and they used to say 4-0."
Kapil Dev signed off by stating that although winning is important, the manner in which you play is equally vital.
"Today at least you start believing, no no we will win. The team in totality, they have changed, that’s more important. Winning is important, but I think how you play is very very important. "
The Indian team was not been able to win an ICC tournament since the 2013 Champions Trophy. They finished as the runners-up in the 2014 T20 World Cup and the 2017 Champions Trophy, while being knocked out in the semi-finals of the 2015 World Cup, 2016 T20 World Cup and the 2019 World Cup.
The biggest achievements of the Indian team in the recent past have come in the Test format. They held the No.1 ranking in Test cricket for 42 months and even registered their first-ever Test series win in Australia in 2018-19, under the captaincy of Virat Kohli.