With fielding improved, India are favourites: Viv

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Kolkata, Feb 14 (PTI) West Indian legend Vivian Richardsfeels that Indian cricket team has improved in the fieldingdepartment in recent times and that increases the chance ofMahendra Singh Dhoni''s men lifting the World Cup.

"India has improved in the fielding department recently.

I see change in psyche among the Indian players. Today theplayers are more committed on the field. People like (coach)Gary Kirsten should be given credit for that," Richards saidwhile participating at a cricket programme "Power Play" herelast night.

"I think a good fielding unit will win this World Cup,"said Richards, considered the most destructive batsman ofmodern cricket.

Richards praised Dhoni for leading from the front.

"If you are a leader, you have to perform. And Dhoni isleading the side from the front."

Former Australian captain Steve Waugh also agreed withRichards on the best fielding side having the highest chanceof winning the February 19-April 2 event.

"Fielding is going to be an important factor in thisWorld Cup. Catching, run-outs will play important roles. Thebest fielding side has the most chance of winning," saidWaugh.

"India has a good chance to win the World Cup. Anotherfavourite is Australia. Brett Lee brings a lot of aggressionto the Australian attack," he said.

Waugh said he is "sad" that Eden Gardens will not behosting an India match during the World Cup.

"I''ve special feelings for Eden Gardens ... some greatmemories about this ground. We won the 1987 World Cup here andthere is that 2001 Test," he said.

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who was also presenton the occasion along with 1983 World Cup winning skipperKapil Dev, talked about this World Cup being an open one andsaid it is unlikely a rank outsider can make it to thequarterfinals.

"I am not a believer of the term, favourite in any sport.

I think the sides led by Clive Lloyd (West Indies of 1975 and1979) and Steve Waugh (1999) could have been favourites butthere was none after that. I think all the good teams willreach the quarterfinal." PTI PDS CM

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