Bowling may hurt India in 2015 World Cup, says Arjuna Ranatunga

Arjuna Ranatunga, the 1996 World Cup-winning captain, feels bowling remains India's main weak link and a lot of work needs to be done before the 2015 World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.

Updated: November 29, 2013 14:43 IST
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Mumbai: Arjuna RanatungaFormer Sri Lanka captain Arjuna Ranatunga feels India might find it difficult to defend their World Cup title in 2015 in Australia and New Zealand due to the team's weak bowling resources. (Also read: Rohit has transformed India's batting, says Jayasuriya)

"India look very strong in their batting, but I don't know whether their bowling is good enough to win a World Cup," he said on the sidelines of the 'Wills Realtors' event here last night.

The 1996 World Cup-winning captain said young Indian batsmen have proved themselves in the shorter formats but need to perform well in Test cricket in overseas conditions. (New ODI rules killing bowlers, says Ranatunga)

"When I saw Rohit Sharma a long time back, I was wondering why he is not playing in Test match. I feel he is one of the most talented cricketers I have seen. Even (Virat) Kohli is a talented cricketer. Batting wise, I am sure India is strong with the left-hand (batsman) Shikhar Dhawan. India is struggling with bowling.

"The important fact is that they need to go out and win games. The testing part will be playing South Africa, playing in England, playing in Australia and not in the sub-continent. It is important to win matches at home but you are tested when you go out," he said.

The 49-year old also felt that the other sub-continent team Pakistan too would find it difficult with its frail batting line-up.

"Pakistan's bowling looks good but the batting is still not good enough to win (titles)," he said.

Former Sri Lanka pacer Chaminda Vaas felt that India has produced good fast bowlers but many are not getting the opportunity.

"I have seen so many good fast bowlers when I was in MRF a long time ago but only couple of guys are coming from that. This country has produced so many good cricketers and there are so many good fast bowlers in this country but they don't get a chance.

"But the guys who have been given a chance they have done extremely well. They have taken from both ends and done really well," he said.

Sri Lanka selector and former captain Sanath Jayasuriya said the Indian batting order is formidable with the top six players in good form and are capable of chasing a huge target.

"As a batting unit, they are doing well. That is the key. Even if the openers are not playing well, the other six batsmen are in good form. That is the key. There is no problem chasing even 300 or 350, we have seen last few games, they are chasing quite comfortably," he said.

Jayasuriya, who made the transition from a middle-order batsman to an opener, said India's decision to open with Rohit Sharma was the right thing.

"Rohit was in the team. Everyone knows that he is a talented cricketer but you all couldn't get the maximum out of him. He went through a really bad period and went out of the team and finally they got him to open. I don't know who got him to open but they did the right thing," he said.

Ranatunga, however, felt that with the advent of T20, India would not be able to produce great batsmen like it had done in the past.

"The younger generation doesn't watch proper cricket and learn. They can't learn from some of the present batsmen. I can't see the Gavaskars, Vengsarkars, Tendulkars, or Dravids or Laxmans coming out from this country anymore and that is the saddest part as far as I am concerned.

"We looked up to India when we were young. We looked up to Gavaskar, Vengsarkar, Gundappa Viswanath, when we were kids but it doesn't happen anymore," he said.

He further said the proposed World Test Championship would help to recreate interest in the longest form of the game.

"You need something to bring up Test cricket. This Test championship will give lot of credibility to some of the countries and some of the players. I hope the wickets won't be batsmen friendly," he said.

Not known to mince words, Ranatunga said he is not a fan of T20 and lamented about Sri Lanka Cricket (Board) cancelling a series against South Africa in the island nation.

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