India may not go into their World Cup defence with the kind of momentum skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni would have liked after the Men in Blue failed to win a match in the recently-concluded tri-series.
Virat Kohli and Dilip Vengsarkar
However, Dilip Vengsarkar, member of the 1983 World Cup-winning team and chairman of selectors at the time of the 2007 World Cup, is confident Team India will rise to the occasion in time.
"It (tri-series) will not have any bearing on the players. It is history now. I am sure they would be preparing for the bigger challenge," Vengsarkar, who is the brand ambassador of Excellence in Cricket, told mid-day yesterday. EIC will promote International Corporate Cricket League, centre of excellence and cricket academies which will be guided by reputed coaches of India.
The former chairman of selectors said India's opening clash against Pakistan on February 15 will be crucial to the team's confidence. "Our first game against Pakistan is very important. It will be a huge morale booster if we beat them. Our past record (India has never lost to Pakistan in a World Cup match so far) against them should help our boys," Vengsarkar said.
Vengsarkar also felt the middle overs will be crucial when bowling. "We have to get wickets in the middle overs, otherwise we will see the batting side score 280 to 300 which could be difficult to chase. Bowling with two new balls is also something which we need to plan properly. It won't be easy," said Vengsarkar.
Engineer not optimistic
Meanwhile, former India stumper Farokh Engineer felt Dhoni's men are no more the favourites. "My heart says India, but we have to be practical. Going by our recent performances, we are no more the favourites. In fact, we are the underdogs. We need to pick ourselves up.
"I like the slogan. 'we won't give it back' but it won't be an easy task defending the World Cup. There are multiple weak links at the moment in the team," Engineer concluded.