New Delhi: Former Pakistan captain Wasim Akram feels Sachin Tendulkar is the key to India’s World Cup chances and the veteran batsman has to play the sheet anchor
role for his team by being there at the crease for at least 40 overs.
Akram said Tendulkar, playing in his sixth and probably the last World Cup, is the rock around whom the Indian innings would revolve.
“Sachin (Tendulkar) is key to India’s chances. The team has to rally around him to get a big score on board. Tendulkar likes batting for a long period of time. He should stay in the middle for a minimum of 40-45 overs,” Akram said.
Akram said if the 37-year-old manages to play good knocks, India would most definitely post 300-plus scores on the board in every game.
“If Tendulkar bats for long, India will get over 300 runs every time. With Sachin in the middle, it gives players like Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir and Yuvraj Singh opportunity to play their natural game,” he said.
Apart from Tendulkar, Akram said flamboyant middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh’s form would be crucial.
“Yuvraj is a very dangerous player. His fielding has certainly improved and is looking a lot fitter after a spate of injuries. He comes from my part of the world - Punjab. We Punjabis are always ‘hot and cold’. I know his form is a bit cold right now but with his talent, he needs one good innings,” Akram said.
He also said that this was India’s best chance to clinch the trophy they last won in 1983.
“India have really been playing good cricket. I was the first one to say that India are favourites to win the Cup and then everybody joined the chorus.”
“They have the right combination, confidence and have defeated every good team in world cricket. According to me, they are the No.1 team in the world,” Akram said.