Bedi rues Parthiv’s absence in World Cup squad

first_imgThe Indian team has the potential to make it to the final of the World Cup, says former captain Bishan Singh Bedi. But he has serious doubts about most players’ ability to field brilliantly.While terming fielding as the weakest link in the team, the illustrious left-arm spinner said the strong batting line-up will have make up for this weakness by scoring up to 40 more runs in each game. “I see India playing in the final. They have the potential go all the way,” Bedi told MAIL TODAY.The tournament begins with an India-Bangladesh game on February 19. But Bedi, who was part of the selection committee that picked the World Cup-winning team in 1983, agreed that the home team will have to cope with the pressure. “Indians will be under a lot of pressure at home. But Dhoni gave a lovely statement, saying that ‘we have converted pressure into extra responsibility’. If you feel the responsibility, you will have to live up to it. Indians will have to live up to the tag of favourites,” he said.”It’s better if India were not called the favourites. When they are called favourites, they may have a cautious approach.” Comparing the fielding ability of the players in Kapil Dev’s team in 1983 and Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side, Bedi said the difference is quite big.”That team was an outstanding fielding side, something that cannot be matched by this team. Fielding is the weakest link in this team.There is only outstanding fielder – Virat Kohli. Yuvraj is not what he was some years ago and Raina, another good fielder, may not get to play all the games,” he averred. “Batsmen will have to score all the time. No excuse there. Indians will have to score 30 to 40 runs more to cover up for (the weak) fielding.”advertisementOn India’s 15-member squad, Bedi said that he would have preferred a second wicketkeeper in place of the third spinner. “It would have been better had there been one more wicket-keeper.Never mind now. But three spinners, in my opinion, are one too many. When and where will they play Piyush (in the XI)? Even if they play two spinners, it is more likely to be Harbhajan and R Ashwin,” he felt.”I would have preferred a second wicket-keeper, somebody like Parthiv Patel. Interestingly, when Parthiv was not so good, they used to pick him. But now when he has improved, they are not selecting him. I would have gone with two wicketkeepers and one spinner less. In my opinion, Piyush would have been the one (to go).”The Delhi-based Bedi said the team will have to peak at the right time. “Peaking does exist in cricket too. And it is very much visible. Pakistanis are peaking at the right time, and so are the Australians. They will come to the World Cup with all the confidence in the world,” he felt. “Indians have got a gap.They will recover from the fatigue. They will have to gain the momentum that has come to a halt with this gap. They should recover and come back to the reality of cricket.”On the several days’ gap between matches for all 14 teams, Bedi said it could be used to one’s advantage. “The gap is good to recoup because it’s going to be hectic and taxing on the mind and body. It’s not 1975 and 1979, when we were only participating; now we are competing – and competing for the championship. That’s the difference,” he said.Bedi specifically said that momentum will play a crucial role in the long-drawn tournament. “Consistency and keeping your momentum going will be the keys to success. And focus will come with consistency. There is no way a team that is aspiring to win the World Cup can afford to relax even for a moment,” he maintained.last_img

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