India's 1983 World Cup-winning captain Kapil Dev has favoured Mahendra Singh Dhoni's 2011 title over his own victory thirty years back. Team India ended the nation's 28-year wait for a second 50-over World Championship crown on April 2, 2011, when Dhoni and his men beat Sri Lanka by 6 wickets in the final at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai. Speaking to the media after a Cricket Association of Bengal awards function in Kolkata today, he said, "Obviously this win is bigger because life is becoming tough. When next generation comes, it will be harder for them."
Kapil, who was one of the guests at the ceremony, lavished praised on the current set of young players for winning the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. "I was at the Champions Trophy and saw the young guys perform in the absence of experienced players like Sachin, Yuvraj, Gambhir and Sehwag. Despite these big players not being there, we didn't miss them. The next generation has arrived, they have played so well."
Kapil praised MS Dhoni's leadership qualities and said that there should be no further doubt about his being India's most successful skipper.
"I don't have to say that he is the best, everybody knows that. He has done a wonderful job. He is one of the best captains and we have to respect that. If you are asking me a question, you have a doubt, but I don't."
The 54-year old legendary all-rounder is hopeful that the current side has a good nucleus and can go all the way to win the 2015 World Cup in Australia. However, Kapil did not want to criticise head coach Duncan Fletcher and remained neutral on the subject.
"When India didn't do well, I was not harsh nor do I want to praise him. I didn't say he did a horrible job when we lost to England and Australia. Now also I won't say he has done extremely well."
He was skeptical of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir's chances of a comeback and critically mentioned that if they did not have what it takes to get back into the team or the mind set to return to the team then their playing days were over.
"If they don't make a come back, then they should sit at home. Every cricketer should feel they can make a comeback. If not, then they are not a fighter, they should take up the challenge."
Kapil had only good things to say about Ravindra Jadeja and felt that Jadeja's entry into the team has changed the very look of the way they have played their game so far.
"He is the most valued cricketer, he has made a difference after he came in. He is a great fielder. He has raised the standards where fielding is concerned, he has also set the fielding standards. Hats off to him, great to have someone like him."