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SportsCricketWhy India is well-placed atop the World Cup...

Why India is well-placed atop the World Cup…

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have been so dominant that they have not even been tested yet in the tournament,' says former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith.

Kuldeep Yadav celebrates with his India teammates after dismissing England's Jos Buttler with a peach of delivery during the ICC Cup match at Ekana Stadium, Lucknow, on Sunday.

The balance may have been affected due to Hardik Pandya's untimely ankle injury, but even then the Indian team has hardly faced a tough test in the ongoing World Cup, feels former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith.

India has displayed rollicking form in the league stage of the ongoing tournament, scoring crushing victories in all six matches they played so far to sit comfortably at the top of the 10-team table.

“India have been so dominant that they have not even been tested yet in the tournament. Last night probably, with a 230 total (against England) was perhaps the first time you could say, but it was a tough wicket and it showed that. They have been very dominant so far,” Smith said.

He made no bones in admitting that India, as a team, over the years, has been a formidable opposition at home.

“India, at home, are always tough to beat. They play so well in their conditions. You have got the balance, the bowling attack has weapons with fast bowling and great spinners, you have got a lot of bases covered.

“One worry at the moment is that you are playing one extra bowler because of that injury to Hardik Pandya. They have lost a little bit of balance that he brings.

“If you play against a team that gets you into trouble, say you are three or four (wickets) down, you are a batter short — you are missing that all-rounder.

“But (the) thing from watching India and the , you have got players that have played in big situations a lot in their career and they have always managed to find a way,” said Smith.

India have played in front of packed houses, with passionate fans filling up the stadiums around the country to the brim, and Smith feels so far the team hasn't allowed the burden of expectations to put them under any kind of pressure.

“So far, the expectation of playing in India does not seem to be affecting them,” Smith said. But the next 10 days or the next two weeks is (about) getting to the crunch time in the tournament now and it will be interesting to watch how teams start to find performances now, as we move to the main part of the tournament,” he added.

The former South African skipper believes India have got the best bowling attack among all teams in the competition, an all-round bowling attack which can take wickets at any stage in an innings.

“India, I think, because they have got two high quality spinners. With (Jasprit) Bumrah, (Mohammed) Shami and (Mohammed) Siraj, they have got pace bowlers who are brilliant as well,” Smith replied when he was asked about the best bowling attack across all teams in the World Cup.

“You have got out-and-out attacking bowlers — everywhere they can take wickets throughout the innings. The depth, when we talk about pitches being batter-friendly and high-scoring, and to have bowlers who can take wickets, is a huge asset to have.”

Northlines
Northlines
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