India are clear favourites

Former India cricketer Mohinder Amarnath said the hosts have lot of advantages and are clear favourites to win the World Cup here at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday when they take on Sri Lanka in the final.

"It is a great opportunity for us. We have the team. We have the players. We have the strength. So if they don`t win a World Cup this time, I don`t see India winning a World Cup in my life-time," he said on the sidelines of an event here.

"I`m sure we will win the finals. We have lots of advantages. We are playing in home condition. Our strength is batting and spin. Of course, Zaheer (Khan) is the key," he added.

Amarnath, who was the Man of the Match in the semi-finals and final during India`s only triumph in the mega-event in 1983, said though there was not much difference between the two teams, the start provided by opener Virender Sehwag could make a difference.

"No team is easy to beat in the World Cup. We have also reached the finals and they have also reached the finals. There is not much difference between the two teams. I think the start is the well they play. Sehwag is the key. He can take the attack to the opposition and set the tone (for India)."

Stating that the final would be a great opportunity for Sachin Tendulkar to fulfil his dream of winning the World Cup, the former all-rounder said the batting maestro was India`s best bet against the Lankan spinners and one could expect another gem of an innings from him.

"He knows probably that he is playing his last World Cup. That is one thing he has not experienced. It is an opportunity for him to fulfill his dream. I think his peak has come at the right time. He is handling different bowlers differently. He is the best player to tackle the Sri Lankan spinners.”

"He knows how to go about it. He will be relaxed. Probably there would be another good innings coming from Sachin Tendulkar," said the 60-year-old, who represented India in 69 Tests and 85 ODIs.

Amarnath also had a word of praise for the Indian bowlers, who were considered as the team`s weakest link prior to the tournament.

"They are doing well. We`ve reached the finals. What more can one ask for? I think they are peaking at the right time. The combination is working out very well. We don`t have to experiment now," he added.

To a query, Amarnath said Sehwag would be the key for India, while opener Tillakaratne Dilshan would be the impact player for Sri Lanka.