India have been a stick above the rest in Asia Cup: Stephen Fleming

first_imgIf India’s Asia Cup performance is taken into consideration, the Men in Blue look strong contenders heading into the ICC World Cup next year. This, given the team manages to keep the players injury-free, says former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming.Speaking to Mail Today, the 45-year-old ascertained that Virat Kohli’s team has a good squad depth to win the mega event but tough humid conditions in England can prove to be a barrier to their title credentials.”They look like a strong side and might also be the favourites but it’s a hot English summer next year and it would really be injuries to Bhuvi (Bhuvneshwar Kumar) or (Jasprit) Bumrah that you need to be concerned about. So you need to develop the pace better and replacement players just in case. It will be summer in England and you might need some seam bowling.India could be in for a surprise if they take Bangladesh lightly: Sunil Gavaskar”But with (Ravindra) Jadeja coming in with a good performance and (Ambati) Rayudu batting well, I think India is in good shape. I believe other than India, New Zealand, Australia and hosts England are my choices to win the World Cup,” Fleming, who is part of the Star Sports Select Dugout expert panel, said.There will always be rivalry between India and Bangladesh on field: Shikhar Dhawan”I think you will have Virat Kohli back with the openers, MS Dhoni will rise for the big occasion. Kedar Jadhav and Dinesh Karthik are also there, so you have plenty of resources.advertisement”And often this space before the World Cup can be quite unsettling but if you give guys some repeated games, I think you’ll be fine with the kind of talent you have in the middle order,” he added.Also Read – India clear favourites against charged-up Bangladesh in Asia Cup finalThe former Chennai Super Kings coach is also closely watching the ongoing Asia Cup in Dubai. He termed the tournament “interesting”, and is particularly impressed by Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who will play the final against India today.MS Dhoni should play domestic cricket: Sunil Gavaskar”I have watched the tournament with great interest. The players have to deal with the heat and constantly play in it. It has taken a toll on some while the others have thrived in it.Kedar Jadhav’s day out with MS Dhoni ahead of Asia Cup final”I think India have been a stick above the rest but the other teams had their moments, in particular, Bangladesh and Afghanistan,” he said.In the run-up to the World Cup, India will play limited-overs series at home against West Indies followed by intriguing overseas tours in Australia and New Zealand.Speaking on India’s run of games in the coming months, Fleming said that the tough fixtures away from home will help the 2011 champions test their depth and adapt to difficult situations in England.”I think all teams struggle for form in the foreign soil. India’s tour against England didn’t work out according to plan but I think they played some good cricket. It will be an interesting series against New Zealand in January and both sides look in prime shape.”I think it’s a good test for the sides before the World Cup begins and it will only add to their confidence,” he concluded.last_img read more