India have the combo to be in top-four: Kapil

Kapil Dev at a promotion event in New Delhi on Wednesday. PTI

Kapil Dev is familiar with the art of winning a World Cup. The former captain, who got the country their first trophy in 1983, said India have a potent pace attack that can utilise the English conditions in the marquee tournament beginning May 30.

"Our four fast bowlers are fantastic. The English conditions will help them swing the ball. We have players like (Mohammad) Shami and (Jasprit) Bumrah who can bowl 145kmph, and have swing and pace," Kapil said on the sidelines of an event hosted by Britannia on Wednesday.

He was confident Virat Kohli's men will be among the top four teams in the World Cup along with Australia and England. However, the fourth team, Kapil felt, could be a surprise package.

“The team has a great combination of youth and experience. It is more experienced than the other teams, and should definitely be in the top four. In my opinion, they have the right balance – they have four fast bowlers, three spinners and they have Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni who have done extremely well for the country,"

"England and Australia are the other two top teams in the league stages. These teams are stronger than the others. I expect a group of teams to fight for the fourth spot. It can be between New Zealand, Pakistan and South Africa.”

On the much-discussed No 4 spot in the team, the former all-rounder said barring the opening slots, all other positions today are flexible. "After watching the T20 games you don't know who is the opener or who is number 4. It is very difficult to pick a person, it depends on the mindset of the player," he said.

"Dhoni went before Yuvraj (Singh) in 2011 in Mumbai (World Cup final). In the last 10 years cricket has changed. Nowadays apart from the openers, anyone can play at the number four spot," he said.

Kapil also pointed out it was unfair to compare Hardik Pandya with him. “Don’t put pressure on him. He is a young player, he has enough talent. He should be allowed to play his natural game. There should be no comparisons at this point. I don't like anybody being compared to anyone because that puts pressure on that player."

India start their World Cup campaign on June 5 against South Africa at Southampton.


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