Previous cricket World Cup winning captains Kapil Dev of India (L) and Imran Khan (R) of Pakistan speak during a promotional function of a telecom company in Mumbai. PHOTO: AFP
MUMBAI: India has the best chances of winning the cricket World Cup being held from February 19 – April 2 in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, former Pakistan skipper Imran Khan thinks.
Khan, flanked by former World Cup winning captains Clive Lloyd of West Indies, India’s Kapil Dev, Australia’s Allan Border and Steve Waugh and Sri Lankan Arjuna Ranatunga, was in Mumbai for a promotional event.
“This could be the most even, unpredictable World Cup ever. There are six teams who can beat anyone on a given day. Having said that, I think India stand the best chance. You have all-round strength in batting and bowling. The batting line-up, in fact, is great. The team is in good form, and it will play in home conditions,” Imran told reporters on Wednesday.
Imran, the 58-year-old former all-rounder, who led Pakistan to World Cup glory in 1992, said that the team’s lack of spinners would not hurt their chances either.
“In Test cricket, you can’t get away with this, but in one-day cricket you can do with bowling all-rounders. Ideally, you need one express pace bowler but India can do without it also. Zaheer Khan, I feel, is at peak of his game right now. He has experience and ability.”
Pakistan need to name World Cup captain
Pakistan have harmed their World Cup chances by delaying naming a captain Imran Khan said, a fuming Imran told reporters.
“It’s just three weeks before the World Cup starts. But we still don’t know who the captain is.”
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) announced their 15-man squad for the showpiece event on January 18 but have yet to choose a skipper.
“Pakistan has put themselves at a big disadvantage by not planning ahead,” he said.
“You can’t have just three weeks before the World Cup and the captain has not been announced.
“All these captains here will tell you that it takes time to know your team… Its strengths… Its weaknesses… To develop your strategy…”
Imran said Pakistan’s chances of a successful World Cup tournament were reduced by the absence of pace duo Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Amir, both suspended by the International Cricket Council.
“I think they were the best opening bowlers in the world. They would have given Pakistan an edge in the World Cup,” Imran said. “I thinktheir suspension will hurt Pakistan.”