Praveen''s injury won''t hurt India''s chances: Bedi

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 9 (PTI) India''s pace attack might haveweakened a bit after losing seamer Praveen Kumar due to injurybut former spinner Bishen Singh Bedi feels it would not haveany negative impact on India''s campaign at the soon-to-startcricket World Cup.

Praveen failed to recover from an elbow injury and wasreplaced by S Sreesanth in the 15-man Indian squad.

"One person cannot affect a team''s chances. In fact, itis good that Praveen has been replaced before the start of theWorld Cup because rather than having played in just a coupleof games and then spending rest of the tournament on bench, itis always better to have a fit player becoming a part of theteam from the very first match," Bedi said.

The former India cricketer was speaking at the launch ofbook -- Women''s Cricket World, co-authored by former Indiacaptain Anjum Chopra along with cricket writer Sunil Kalra.

When the 64-year-old was asked what was the weakest pointof the Indian team going into the World Cup, starting fromFebruary 19, Bedi replied the ''huge burden of expectations''.

"Don''t make the expectations too high. It seems theexpectations could prove the only hindrance in India''s path tolifting the Cup," warned the former bowler.

He also emphasised that Sachin Tendulkar will have toplay a crucial role if India wish to win its second trophy.

"Everybody wants India to win the World Cup and so do I.

I want it more so because this would be Sachin''s last WorldCup and I hope India win it. And I am sure Sachin will leadthe team to that final victory," Bedi said.

The former cricketer added that all these talks may putextra pressure on Tendulkar but expressed confidence that theMumbaikar would handle it with ease.

"All these might mean a lot of pressure on Sachin but itis nothing new for him. He has been handling pressure for thelast 21 years so I don''t think it would affect him at all. Infact, his game is beyond such trivialities." More PTI CM AT

Comparing the 1983 World Cup winning side with that of the 2011 World Cup squad, he said the Kapil Dev-led team hadnothing to lose, but the current unit has.

"In 1975 and 1979 editions of the World Cups, India werejust participating in the mega-event with no hopes attached toit. But after the 1983 triumph, we actually started to competeat the international arena. And since then the expectationsonly mounted," said Bedi.

He further explained that when 1987 World Cup wasco-hosted by India and Pakistan, people had great hopes thatIndia, being the defending champions, would bag the Cup again.

"Ever since the expectations have been only growing andnow it has almost reached its peak. I feel we have a peculiartendency of either putting the team on a pedestal or throw itto ground, which is not good," said Bedi.

Besides the weight of expectations, the former spinneralso raised concerns about the bowling department of theIndian team, saying that it was not up to the mark.

"India''s bowling is not as penetrating as it is requiredto win the matches on its own. The bowling would require abrilliant fielding effort. Moreover, even batsmen will have toscore at least 50 more runs than an expected good total togive some margin to the bowlers," said Bedi.

He also criticised the inclusion of three spinners in the15-member squad, saying, "We have an extra spinner in ourside. I feel two would have been enough on these sub-continentpitches. Instead, I think Rohit Sharma should have beenincluded in the team." PTI CM AT

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