S S Ramaswamy
Mumbai, Feb 8 (PTI) Having faltered twice at the doorstepof the title contest previously when they hosted theWorld Cup, India would be eager to break the jinx this timearound and regain cricket''s most coveted trophy when theycommence their campaign in the mega-event against co-hostsBangladesh at Dhaka on February 19.
In 1987, Kapil Dev failed to lead the country to theirsecond successive crown as his team was swept off the perch byMike Gatting-led England in the semi-final at the WankhedeStadium in Mumbai.
Mohd. Azharuddin also could not pilot his squad backon to the throne of One-day cricket nine years later whenIndia co-hosted the World Cup along with Sri Lanka andPakistan, as his team was knocked out by eventual championsLanka in the semi-final at Kolkata''s Eden Gardens.
This time around Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men areaiming to disprove India''s jinx as host nation of the WorldCup, aiming to make it third time lucky in the tournament thatthe country is co-hosting with Lanka and Bangladesh.
The Dhoni-led team has the iconic Sachin Tendulkar, whowill be playing in his sixth World Cup that would place him atpar with Pakistan great Javed Miandad, to look forward to --besides a very talented and balanced team -- for ferrying backthe World Cup to India after 28 years.
Seeded second in the tournament and ranked number one inGroup ''B'', India''s passage into the knock-out stage appearsreasonably smooth if they play to their potential and arecareful to avoid some pitfalls. .