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Great expectations

Photo: S.Subramanium.

Kapil Dev at the Hero Indian Sports Academy show in New Delhi.

NO SEVEN O' clock shadow on his countenance. He is as fit as he used to be when he scored a ton against Zimbabwe at the Prudential World Cup in 1993. In New Delhi for Hero Indian Sports Academy, Kapil Dev continues to be the cynosure of all eyes.

Lifting the World Cup after trouncing the mighty Caribbean side of Clive Lloyd was a momentous occasion. Asked to draw comparisons between his boys and the present incumbent, Saurav Ganguly's Indian eleven, Kapil says, "Would you like if I start comparisons between you with your father?"

Kapil says that he used to walk into the ground with his team-mates in a positive frame of mind. There can be no dispute over that as when other teams were having trepidation while facing a battery of fast bowlers from the West Indies, Kapil Dev with his fearlessness and confidence in his abilities, took up the gauntlet with no sign of discomfiture on his face.

One asks him about some of the statements made by Pakistan players, Kapil retorts, "Don't ask me to comment on what Pakistanis have to say about our boys. I have always been a positive man. Look at the positive side. We may not have such good fast bowlers and fielders as some other sides but we have some of the top best batsmen. We have great expectations from them."

Do you think Sachin should be promoted in the batting order? "If Tendulkar is the best batsman in the world it doesn't matter whether he opens the innings or comes as the last batsman. However, the players are playing too much of cricket for the last 10 months. They have to be physically in top conditions to live up to the challenge. And they should not be complacent even when playing against small sides. Every player is a star."

As far as Ajay Jadeja is concerned, Kapil says, "Ajay has been away from cricket for two years. So he needs to play the game for six months at least before he can be considered."

MADHUR TANKHA

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