Bangalore: Former captain Rahul Dravid on Thursday said India are one of the strong contenders for the 2015 World Cup to be played in Australia and New Zealand as the team has the "advantage of playing five bowlers" in a match.
"India are one of the strong contenders for World Cup as the team has been shaping up well and have an advantage of playing five bowlers in a match, which is a key factor for any side to be that good," he told a section of media persons here at the Gillette 'Will you shave' campaign launch.
India have the privilege of having two all-rounders - Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja - in the side, Dravid stated.
Ashwin was the lone Indian to feature in the top 10 of the latest Reliance ICC Test Player Rankings as he continued to lead the way in the all-rounders list.
Dravid said all specialist bowlers, including pacers, have been performing well in one-dayers, which would give India an added advantage in the pacy and bouncy pitches of Australia.
The upcoming Australian tour would also be a great learning curve for the young Indian brigade before entering the World Cup, Dravid said.
"The Australian tour will be a learning curve for young Indian players before they participate in the World Cup," he said.
However, it will take some more time for these youngsters to cope up with the challenge of Test cricket, he said.
Asked how should the likes of Virat Kohli, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane keep up the legacy of the 'Fab Four' that comprised greats like him, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman, Dravid said the younger lot must make efforts to establish themselves as good players.
"We are actually not thinking about it. We tend to take one step at a time and try to establish ourselves as good players," he said.
"I didn't even think about trying to cope with the legacy of (Sunil) Gavaskar, (Dilip) Vengsarkar, Mohinder Amarnath and GR Vishwanath. Yeah, there is a thrill associated with these names, but when you are starting as a kid you don't think you want to be a GR Vishwanath," Dravid added.
The upcoming events will be an opportunity for the
youngsters to build a stable batting line-up for the Indian team.
"Therein lies the opportunity for the group which is going now. There is good talent in that group - but if they keep performing consistently, then I think they have potential to build a strong and stable middle-order for India," he said.
Asked whether Tendulkar had missed anything in his autobiography 'Playing It My Way' that was released last evening in Mumbai, Dravid said, "I have played with him for sixteen years but there are eight other years which I and youngsters want to know."
Asked why there is a shortage of cricket books in India, Dravid said, "I have no clue. I don't know why? Apparently, I have been told that cricket books don't sell. I don't know. I mean - yeah, we people write less and you people read less, may be."