Rahul Dravid, the former India skipper, thought India’s recent 2-3 loss to Australia in an ODI series will have little manner on their ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 campaign.
After securing a 2-0 lead in the five-match series last month, India failed to cover a growing Aussies outfit and lost three matches on the trot. Though, that was a deviation – their fantastic form over the last few years has propelled them to No. 2 and they’re considered one of the favorites for the CWC.
“In the last 30 months, India has been playing really well, and the loss, much to the credit of the way Australia played, came at the back end of a very busy series,” he told the Times of India.
“We have the right combination for the CWC. If India wins the CWC, we will not be worrying about who won 2-3 or 3-2. There will be an odd series that India will lose. But the rankings prove that India is there and should win the CWC to become No.1.”
Inevitably, Dravid was asked of India’s 15-man CWC team, and the decision to drop Ambati Rayudu and Rishabh Pant, but he believed India’s team is so well-balanced that it won’t matter in the end. “India has a very good, balanced team for this CWC,” he said.
“They have a lot of combinations, a lot of options. It is a question of them performing in the tournament. You can always argue one or two cases, one or two names. The team has been picked back and hope. They do really well.”
England last hosted a CWC in 1999, and Dravid, who was the highest run-scorer in that edition, with 461 runs at 65.85 and two centuries, said the conditions would be vastly different now. “I expect the games to be totally different than in 1999 when England last hosted the CWC, which was a slightly low-scoring affair,” he recalled.
“This CWC will probably be a much high scoring one, and India is well equipped for that. English conditions have actually changed, especially for ODIs. We were there last year for an ‘A’ series, and the scores were really high – 300 was par score, and was being chased consistently.
“ODIs have changed in England and [you] can’t go with the typical mindset that it will be the old English conditions of swing and seam. Wickets have become flatter, encouraging higher scores.”
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