India are hot favourites for World Cup: Laxman

New Delhi, Jan 29 (PTI) Home conditions, crowd supportand consistent performance of the past one and a half yearmake India the hot favourites in next month''s cricket WorldCup in the sub-continent, feels stylish Test batsman VVSLaxman.

"India have the best chance to win the World Cup. I don''twant to put undue pressure on the players by predicting thefavourites. But I think the team can repeat the 1983 feat.

They have the potential and talent to lift the trophy. Theteam has been performing consistently over the last year and ahalf," Laxman said.

"The event is happening in India so we will havefavourable conditions. With all the encouragement and crowdsupport, it will boost India''s confidence," added the36-year-old right-hander.

The veteran of 120 Tests, who has not been part of theODI fold since 2006, however, conceded that Mahendra SinghDhoni''s men will have to cope with towering expectationsduring the event.

"There will be pressure but they are professional playersand they know how to handle pressure. There is positive energyin the team and that is very important," he said.

Laxman also said openers Virender Sehwag and GautamGambhir''s form will be the key to India''s campaign.

"Gambhir and Sehwag have been very important players forIndia. They have been doing well and they will have a hugerole to play in the World Cup after coming back from theinjury," said Laxman, who is not in India''s World Cup squad ashe is now considered a Test specialist.

While Sehwag is nursing a shoulder injury, Gambhir isrecovering from an elbow injury. Both the players are expectedto be fully fit before the high-profile event gets underway.

Asked about the historic Eden Gardens being stripped ofIndia-England World Cup tie on February 27 due to incompleteinfrastructure-related work, the Hyderabadi batsman said,"Eden is a very important venue but I am sure that theremaining matches would be held there and people will enjoythem." More PTI ATK SHN PM MRM

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