Dravid Talks Up India Chances
India captain Rahul Dravid is confident his team will produce a strong showing when the 2007 World Cup gets under way.
India captain Rahul Dravid is confident his team will produce a strong showing in the World Cup.
The Indians, along with the other three teams in Group B – Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Bermuda – arrived in Trinidad ahead of their opening games on Monday.
India enter the tournament when they face Bangladesh at the Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain on Saturday, 48 hours after Sri Lanka and Bermuda open the group.
India have one of the strongest batting line-ups in the world as well as a dangerous attack and Dravid added: "I think that we will also field good in this tournament.
"This all-round strength gives me the confidence that we will do well."
Dravid said he was pleased with his team's warm-up performances last week, particularly their nine-wicket win over hosts West Indies.
He said: "These (games) can sometimes work against you since most of our batsmen haven't had a long time in the middle, but winning is a habit and we are pleased to be going into the tournament with wins against our name."
Dravid has also backed opener Virender Sehwag to come good after a long period out of form that recently saw him left out of the side.
The 28-year-old is still rated as one of the most explosive players in the game and averages more than 40 from 167 one-day internationals.
Dravid said: "I don't think that every member of a 15-man squad will be in form at the same time and it is my hope that he comes around as the tournament progresses.
"My hope is that all the players go out and fire on all cylinders and get us victory because winning is what it is all about in this tournament."
Bangladesh also arrived high on confidence after their surprise warm-up win over New Zealand last week.
Captain Habibul Bashar said: "The guys are confident and we are hoping to provide more upsets along the way.
"We have been preparing for this tournament for quite a while and we are here to play good cricket and will be looking for opportunities to win matches.
"We have two tough teams in India and Sri Lanka but we are confident that we can get a win against at least one of them."
The Bermudans, arguably the weakest team in the tournament, are merely using the event for experience and as an opportunity to earn respect from the cricketing world, according to skipper Irving Romaine.
"The guys are here to play good cricket and to represent their country well," Romaine said. "This is our first World Cup and we are looking forward to every aspect of it.
"We want to play good cricket and earn respect along the way."
Reflecting on his team's dismal performance against England last week, when they were bowled out for 46, Romaine said it had not affected the mood in the camp.
"Just days later, we saw the West Indies being bowled out for 85," Romaine said. "This happens in cricket and we are going out there to ensure that it does not happen to us again."
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