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Fitness only concern for India ahead of World Cup: Kumble

Posted By: Pti

Bangalore, Feb 5 (PTI) Former Test captain Anil Kumblereckons it is India''s best chance to lift the ODI World Cupafter 1983 but fitness of players would be a major concern andending the 28-year-old jinx would depend on whether the squadremains injury-free during the event.

"My only concern is the fitness of the guys. If they canlast the entire tournament without injuries, we couldcertainly regain the Cup," Kumble told PTI in an interviewahead of the February 19 to March 2 mega-event to be held inthe sub-continent.

Kumble said along with India, defending championsAustralia, South Africa, and Sri Lanka are the otherfavourites for the coveted trophy.

"We have a very bright chance, probably it is our bestopportunity to win the Cup," said Kumble.

Kumble weighed the advantages that India had to win backthe title, last won by Kapil''s Devils in 1983.

"We have lot of advantages going into the tournament. Theform of the players is encourgaing. The quality of players isgood. There are some all-rounders as well who can chip in withboth bat and ball," emphasised Kumble, who was part of theIndian World Cup campaigns in 1996 (at home), 1999 (England),2003 (South Africa) and 2007 (West Indies).

India''s most successful bowler feels the sub-continentaldustbowls would be of great advantage to India.

"Besides the form and quality of players, the pitcheswould suit our game. We know our conditions too well. We knowwhat we can expect," said Kumble, who as president of theKarnataka State Cricket Association, has dedicated his timefor the conduct of the World Cup matches in the City.

Talking about the disappointment of losing the 1996semifinals and the 2003 finals, Kumble said: "We came veryclose to winning. It was disappointing that we could not getto do what we were capable as a team. Each time we got closeand lost, we knew we had to wait for a long time as the WorldCup is played only once in four years."

Asked if Sachin Tendulkar, who will be playing his sixthsuccessive World Cup, will be under pressure to deliver infront of the home crowd, Kumble said: "He has been around for21 years. So there is no question of him being underpressure." More PTI Cor PM MRM

Story first published: Saturday, February 5, 2011, 13:30 [IST]
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