Media back India to win cricket World Cup

Papers believe India can defend its World Cup title under Mahendra Singh Dhoni's leadership Image copyright AP
Image caption Papers believe India can defend its World Cup title under Mahendra Singh Dhoni's leadership

The Indian cricket team's "splendid performances" in group stages have shown that it can successfully defend the World Cup title, papers say.

India kept a clean sheet and topped Group B, thanks to some good performances by both batsmen and bowlers.

Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's men will take on Bangladesh in their first knockout match on 19 March.


18 South Africa v Sri Lanka, Sydney

19 India v Bangladesh, Melbourne

20 Australia v Pakistan, Adelaide

21 New Zealand v West Indies, Wellington


24 New Zealand or West Indies v South Africa or Sri Lanka, Auckland

26 Australia or Pakistan v India or Bangladesh, Sydney


29 Final, Melbourne

Papers warn that India needs to avoid being complacent against relatively weaker Bangladesh.

"Of course, complacency cannot be part of India's countenance when they meet Bangladesh since Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim have been consistent with the bat while paceman Rubel Hossain and left-arm spinner Shakib Al Hasan have led the bowling with gusto," writes the cricbuzz website.

The Times of India feels that India's batting and Dhoni's captaincy skills will be the team's main strength in the knockout matches.

"Combined with the resurgence of Shikhar Dhawan, the big-match temperament of Virat Kohli and the rediscovery of Mahendra Singh Dhoni's touch as the game's best finisher alongside, of course, his ice-cool captaincy, India enter the quarter-finals as one of the favourites and with the momentum of an unprecedented winning streak," it says.

It also warns India to be be "wary of taking Bangladesh's giant-killing tigers lightly, given the new-found effervescence and self-belief in Mashrafe Murtaza's team".

The Hindustan Times puts faith India's bowling unit as well.

"They [India] have the ideal spin attack to exploit the big grounds at MCG and SCG cricket grounds, [and] their pace attack have consistently given them early breakthroughs," it says.

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