New Delhi: Former captain Sourav Ganguly on Saturday ruled out Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh's chances of staging a comeback to the Indian team for next year's ODI World Cup.
"It will be difficult for Sehwag and Yuvraj to play in this World Cup. Because World Cup is so near and Dhoni won't make many changes in the side," a candid Ganguly said at an event here.
Ganguly, who was known for unearthing talents during his tenure as skipper, though lavished praised on Yuvraj and Sehwag and called them genuine match-winners. (Dhoni Must Stay Captain Till 2015 World Cup: Sourav Ganguly)
"They were great players, one of the best I have seen but time catches up with everyone and so is the case with Viru and Yuvi," Ganguly said at a day-long event organised by a media group.
Ganguly believes that the Indian cricket team has a realistic chance of defending the world title in the tournament slated to be held in Australia and New Zealand from February next year.
"India has a quality ODI team despite not having done well in Tests abroad. But in ODIs there is a good chance," he said. (West Indies Pullout Unfortunate, Says Sourav Ganguly)
Pointing out that every team needs some X-factors to go the distance, Ganguly said this Indian team has that.
"India have four or five good quality players and these will be crucial X-factors for the team to do well Down Under," he said.
Praising both Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina for their superlative shows with the bat, Ganguly mentioned that India's performance in the upcoming quadrennial event will depend on how these two perform.
"Virat has done well in overseas conditions. He has played match-winning innings in South Africa and Australia. Lot will depend on him. If he does well India will put up a good show."
"Raina has done very well recently. He has been consistent but it will also be a challenge for him to carry that form in Australia."
Ganguly feels that apart from India, four other teams also have a chance to clinch the Cup.
"Australia and South Africa have good fast bowling and on Australian pitches these two have good chances. Australia, South Africa, India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand are the five strong contenders for the WC 2015," Sourav said.
India will be playing against Australia Down Under prior to the World Cup and Ganguly firmly believes that a break before the mega event will be crucial for the team.
"I hope that BCCI will bring back the team for 7-10 days after the tour. It will help a lot," Ganguly said.
Asked about India's concerns over death bowling, he said that the young Turks will need time to get accustomed to the new set of rules.
"These are young bowlers and they need times. Rules have changed, batting standards have improved and cricket overall has changed. That has put the bowlers under more pressure," Ganguly said.
Talking about the 2003 World Cup team which lost to Australia in a one-sided final, Ganguly wished his team was playing in this era.
"I hope that team would play in this era. Australians were fabulous. We lost to a superior team," Ganguly said.