Rahul Dravid: Presence of wicket-takers in middle overs will benefit India in high-scoring World Cup

The former Indian captain said that the team that bowls best had a better chance of edging the others out in ICC's showpiece event .

Rahul Dravid

While praising batsmen Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni on one hand, former Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid underlined that a good bowling attack will differentiate the ordinary from the best.   -  PTI

Former Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid said the presence of wicket-taking bowlers will greatly benefit India in the middle overs in what is expected to be a high-scoring World Cup.

Alongside hosts England and Australia, India will enter the ICC showpiece as favourites.

The tournament kicks off on May 30 with the grand finale slated for July at the Lord’s Cricket Ground.

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“Having experienced some of the conditions in England last year with the A tour, I believe it would be a high scoring World Cup. And in a high scoring WC, having bowlers who can take wickets in the middle will be very important. I think India is lucky in that regard,” the former captain told Star Sports at the Star Re.Imagine Awards.

Dravid added, “People like (Jasprit) Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal... (We have) got bowlers who can take wickets. Teams that are taking wickets through those middle-overs in those high scoring games have a better better chance of restricting the opposition.”

India played their last international on March 13, after which the IPL kicked off. While the loss in the five-match series to Australia at home came as a shock, India have done well in ODIs over the last year, scripting a historic series win in South Africa. They have also won in Australia and New Zealand.

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Dravid took these victories into consideration while talking about India’s prospects in the tournament.

“ I think we have had a couple of really good years leading to the World Cup. For the right reasons, we are number 2 in the World and that actually means that we have consistently produced some successful results in the last two and half years. We can be hopeful.

“I think it’s going to be a tough World Cup. Every team comes well prepared and wants to compete. Everyone will be putting their best foot forward.  India is definitely one of the favourites into the tournament and hopefully we make the semi-final and from there on there are four very good teams,” Dravid said.

“Bowling is going to play a very big role in this World Cup and the team that bowls best, probably will be closer to winning it.”

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The legendary batsman heaped praise on captain Virat Kohli.

“Virat, you know he just keeps improving, keeps getting better. He is setting bars and standards that we thought would never be achieved. Sachin (Tendulkar) scored 49-50 hundreds in one-day cricket. People thought that this would be impossible or at least take a lot of time to achieve. Virat is 10 away from it or close to it.

“It is not that he hasn’t had bad tours - he had disappointing tour of England in 2014, he wasn’t as successful in Australia first time around. One of the things about Virat is that even if he has a bad tour, he goes back as a better player the next time. He sort of reinvents his game to a point where he is constantly improving,” he said.

Dravid also tipped his hat to Mahendra Singh Dhoni, lauding his ability to ace big matches.

“The beauty about MS is how he plays these big tournaments and these big matches. I tell a lot of under-19 boys, he is able to find a way to play it like it doesn’t mean a lot, obviously it means a lot. He is able to see a bigger picture in it and say — I’m not defined by this particular game. It is a hard thing to do,” he added.