‘The World Cup will be our best gift to Sachin’

first_imgThe World Cup is returning to India – and the sub-continent – after 15 years.Sachin Tendulkar is all set for the World Cup. APOurs is the No. 1 Test team in the world, we are among the top ODI teams and we have been the T20 world champions. With the World Cup not very far off, I can already sense the enthusiasm, especially after the Indian team’s sterling performance in the tough Test series against South Africa.The World Cup would be a big attraction not only here but outside India as well. The weather in February will be perfect and it will be a brilliant spectacle.The ninth edition of the showpiece event will give an even greater boost to the game, especially in the rural areas.People of all ages will get to see the best players in action on their soil. Even though the original plan was to have the World Cup in the entire subcontinent, including Pakistan, it couldn’t happen. People in Pakistan are disappointed and so are we, because if there’s anything that binds us, it is our shared passion for cricket. Our players and peoples have had a close relationship, and therefore it is sad that there won’t be any matches there because of security issues.Coming to the game, all eyes naturally will be on the Indian team. Though the final squad has not been announced yet, the concern that is uppermost in my mind is the spate of injuries. Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan have had serious fitness issues and they will sit out the ODI series in South Africa. Once that gets over, the players with injuries must be given time for recuperation and a lot of physiotherapy.advertisementIf one looks at the team, Gambhir, Sehwag and Virat Kohli have been in tremendous form. Sachin Tendulkar is as young as ever and M.S. Dhoni is doing very well. Our batting and bowling look very good and we have done well against Australia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka and South Africa in recent ODIs.That makes India the No. 1 contender for the World Cup. You need batsmen who can bowl handy parttime spin in ODIs, so players like Yusuf Pathan will be crucial. Apart from India, I believe England too has a good chance. It’s a young and talented side high on morale after its spectacular Ashes win. And they have very good depth in fast bowling and a top-class spinner in Graeme Swann.Personally, I feel it is time the Indian team gives a perfect gift to Sachin Tendulkar, who most probably will be playing his last World Cup. He has given so much to the Indian team, it is time the players gave something back to him. The World Cup, perhaps?-Chetan Chauhan was a member of the Indian team that lifted the 1983 World Cup under Kapil Dev’s captaincylast_img