Chennai, Feb 5: Former India captain Srinivas Venkataraghavan is of the opinion that Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team lacks consistency and expressed concerns at the "unstable" opening combination going into the upcoming cricket World Cup.
India's run-up to the quadrennial extravaganza has been far from impressive, with the team failing to win a single international match against Australia and England Down Under. (I cried after WC win: Dhoni)
"Present Indian team lacks consistency. The most important factor, be it the top or middle-order batting or the bowling, the fact of the matter is that consistency is the key to success. That is lacking in the Indian team," the 69-year-old, who led India in the inaugural World Cup in 1975 and in 1979, told PTI.
"It is also a pity that we do not have stable combination at the top and that is what we require in one-day cricket. After all you have to get a good solid start." (10 major changes at WC)
Talking further about the lack of consistency, he said, "They lack the application and mindset. Motivation might be there. They all have the aspirations, the enthusiasm to play. But they will have to perform on the field of play."
Venkataraghavan, who has been a respected ICC elite panel umpire and featured in Ashes series and World Cup semi-finals, felt India might sneak into the last four stage as the fourth team.
"It is pretty easy to predict the four teams in the semi-finals. Two best teams in the fray are South Africa and Australia. Australians have the added advantage of playing in their own backyard like New Zealand and the fourth slot is India.
"You cannot rule out England also. They are also performing well and they are there. Though they are also not able to finish as India. Of course, South Africans are known to be chokers," he said.