Mumbai: It's been close to two years that he has been out of national team but veteran opener Virender Sehwag is hopeful that selectors would consider him in the 30-members probables list for the next year's cricket World Cup in Australia and New Zealand.
Despite not exactly setting the domestic stage on fire, the 36-year-old still harbours dreams of playing a fourth World Cup for his country. "I also hope that my name appears in the 30-member strong probables list. Every cricketer who plays wants to play in the World Cup for his country. I also still dream and hope even I play in this World Cup," Sehwag, who has played the 2003, 2007 and 2011 editions of the event, said.
On India's chances in the competition, Sehwag seemed confident that Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men will retain the Cup. "We won the trophy in 2011. I think we have the capability to retain it in 2015. We have a good team. They are playing good cricket in the ODI format. I believe that we can defend it," the out-of-favour opener said at a promotional event related to ICC World Cup.
Sehwag feels that since Indian team will be there in Australia for the Test as well as tri-series, there won't be any problems adjusting to the conditions. "I think all the players, who will go to the World Cup, they would have already played Tests and triangular series before the start of the World Cup. So they will get used to the conditions," Sehwag said.
The swashbuckling batsman feels that it's good that the World Cup is being held in Australia as it's the best place to play cricket. "Australia is the best place to play cricket. You get good fast pitches with bounce, and the ball comes nicely on to the bat. You will enjoy batting as well as bowling in these conditions.
Asked if the teams would have to adjust a lot in Australia and New Zealand, he said,"The wickets are similar, they are not different. In World Cup, you will get good wickets to bat and bowl on. You will get true wickets for the game. I don't think there will be any problem for any team or any problem to adjust."
Sehwag, who was part of the victorious World Cup squad in 2011 under Mahendra Singh Dhoni, said one of the abiding memories of the tournament was the way the team celebrated after every victory in the knock-out stage.
"We celebrated every knockout game in the quarter-final, the semi-final like this is our last game. So we spent the whole night celebrating the quarter-final win, the semi-final win and final.
"These three games were big games for us and we did really well and played against tough oppositions like Australia, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. We enjoyed ourselves throughout the World Cup and everybody was contributing, everybody was happy and everybody was looking forward to win the World Cup," he said.
The 36-year old said the semi-final match against Pakistan at Mohali was a tough game as they had not posted enough runs on a batting wicket. "The final was not tough because we knew we had won all the matches against Sri Lanka in the last two years. The tough match for us was against Pakistan because we had scored only 260-odd and the wicket was so good to bat on.
"On that wicket, 260 was not enough but the bowlers did a fantastic job, including Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Yuvraj Singh and won the game for us," he said.
On the current bowling attack, he said, "I think we have a very good bowling attack. It depends on how many matches they play before the World Cup. The fast bowlers have to play at least 40-50 or 100 ODIs before the World Cup. They will get the experience and they are ready for the World Cup. I think we have a quality bowling (attack). It is just a matter of performance."
The Najafgarh dasher predicted hosts Australia and New Zealand are most likely to make to the semi-finals along with India and South Africa.
"Recently, New Zealand played well against Pakistan in Tests and they will be playing in home conditions at the World Cup. The other teams like Australia and South Africa, they recently played in Australia. In every match, the score was around the 300-run mark and they were close games.
"So it is difficult to say which teams would make the last four, but I would still say that it would be Australia, South Africa, India and New Zealand," he said. Sehwag, who has been going through a rough patch for quite some time, hopes to bat at one-down or at number four for Delhi during the Ranji Trophy.
"I have opened the batting, one down, two down, three down, four down also. I am hoping I can score runs, it doesn't matter where I bat. It is important for me to score runs that I watch the ball till the end and if it is in my zone then try to hit it rather than play cautiously. This year, I am hoping to bat at No. 3 and No. 4 for Delhi," he said.
Asked how India would fare in the rearranged four-Test Border-Gavaskar Trophy, he said, "We have a very good chance to do well in Australia because it is not like England where the bowlers get swing and seam, the only thing is the extra bounce.
"All our players have played in Australia in the Emerging Trophy and they went there two weeks before the Test matches. They are playing a couple of practice games and I am hoping our team will do well. I am not predicting the results but I am hoping everyone will do well in Australia," he added.