Yusuf can play crucial role for India in World Cup: Kapil

Updated: 03 February 2011 17:24 IST

The Indian batting order may be filled with explosive players who can take the game away from the opposition, but 1983 World Cup winning skipper Kapil Dev feels all-rounder Yusuf Pathan's role in the lower-middle order could swing the team's fortunes in the mega event.

Yusuf can play crucial role for India in World Cup: Kapil
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The Indian batting order may be filled with explosive players who can take the game away from the opposition, but 1983 World Cup winning skipper Kapil Dev feels all-rounder Yusuf Pathan's role in the lower-middle order could swing the team's fortunes in the mega event.

"(Yusuf) Pathan can turn the game around for India coming at 6-7. He has the capability to win matches from losing situations," the legendary all-rounder said when asked about the one player who can turn the tide in the February 19-April 2 tournament.

"As long as he is at the crease, the opposition cannot breathe easy," he said at a promotional event for Idea Cellular here.

On whether the Baroda bomber should bat up the order, Kapil said, "After the advent of Twenty 20 cricket, there is no specific number for a batsman. It (T20) has changed the game. Any batsman can bat at any number. Better to leave it to the captain."

Even as Indian cricketers have expressed their desire to win the World Cup for Sachin Tendulkar, Kapil sang a different tune saying the event was not only about the batting maestro.

"Sachin is not (the only one) playing cricket. It is India that is playing. 'Jitna important jitna unke liye hai, utna hi important doosron ke liye bhi hain' (Winning the World Cup is as important to others as it is to him).

"Yes, he is a great player and he has served the country the most. But by placing him above the team, you are insulting the other 14 members in the squad," Kapil said.

Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni and southpaw Gautam Gambhir are among the World Cup members who have expressed their desire to win the coveted trophy for Tendulkar.

Kapil said though no host team, barring Sri Lanka in 1996, has won the World Cup, Dhoni's boys had the capability to break the jinx.

"I don't know who will win. As Imran (Khan) said, India is a favourite. There is always a chance to break the jinx. In that matter, no team would want to host the World Cup. It (host winning) will happen one day," he added.

Meanwhile, other World Cup winning captains - Imran Khan, Steve Waugh, Allan Border, Clive Lloyd, and Arjuna Ranatunga - who too were present, said that India being the host nation enjoyed a slight advantage, but at least six teams stand the chance to win the quadrennial event.

"It's tough (to choose a favourite). Seven sides are capable of winning it. Any one who reaches the quarter-final would have the momentum," said former Australian skipper Steve Waugh, who won the World Cup as a team-member in 1987 and led his country to glory in 1999.

"India are slight favourites. They know the conditions well. But (IPL) makes it such an even competition. Most teams have some players who know the conditions well, and know how to handle the crowds. Sri Lanka, being the co-host is a favourite too. Australia may be blowing hot and cold at the moment but they have an outside chance too," he added.

Former Pakistani skipper Imran, who led his team to glory in 1992, too echoed Waugh's sentiments.

"It is one of the most even tournament in the sense that there are about six teams that are capable of winning the World Cup. Format is such that the top teams will not be knocked out early. India is a favourite in terms of conditions and Sri Lanka are a close second. Again conditions, but they are a good team too," he said.

"But it takes only two batsmen to be in form to take their country to the winning position," he added.

Topics : Kapil Dev Yusuf Pathan ICC World Cup, 2011 Cricket
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