India are clear favourites, says Amarnath

Last Updated: Fri, Apr 01, 2011 16:41 hrs
India v Sri Lanka

MUMBAI: Former India cricketer Mohinder Amarnath on Saturday said the hosts have lot of advantages and are clear favourites to win the World Cup at the Wankhede Stadium when they take on Sri Lanka in the final.

"It is a great opportunity for us. We have the team. We have the players. We have the strength. So if they don't win a World Cup this time, I don't see India winning a World Cup in my life-time," he said on the sidelines of an event.

"I'm sure we will win the finals. We have lots of advantages. We are playing in home condition. Our strength is batting and spin. Of course, Zaheer (Khan) is the key," he added.

Dhoni may pick Sreesanth in place of Nehra

Amarnath, who was the man of the match in the semifinals and final during India's only triumph in the mega-event in 1983, said though there was not much difference between the two teams, the start provided by opener Virender Sehwag could make a difference.

"No team is easy to beat in the World Cup. We have also reached the finals and they have also reached the finals. There is not much difference between the two teams. I think the start is the well they play. Sehwag is the key. He can take the attack to the opposition and set the tone (for India)."

Stating that the final would be a great opportunity for Sachin Tendulkar to fulfil his dream of winning the World Cup, the former all-rounder said the batting maestro was India's best bet against the Lankan spinners and one could expect another gem of an innings from him.

"He knows probably that he is playing his last World Cup. That is one thing he has not experienced. It is an opportunity for him to fulfill his dream. I think his peak has come at the right time. He is handling different bowlers differently. He is the best player to tackle the Sri Lankan spinners.

"He knows how to go about it. He will be relaxed. Probably there would be another good innings coming from Sachin Tendulkar," said the 60-year-old, who represented India in 69 Tests and 85 ODIs.

Key clashes in the World Cup final

Amarnath also had a word of praise for the Indian bowlers, who were considered as the team's weakest link prior to the tournament.

"They are doing well. We've reached the finals. What more can one ask for? I think they are peaking at the right time. The combination is working out very well. We don't have to experiment now," he added.

To a query, Amarnath said Sehwag would be the key for India, while opener Tillakaratne Dilshan would be the impact player for Sri Lanka.

More from Sify: