India will top the one-day rankings if they defeat both Sri Lanka and New Zealand in the league stage and also win the finals of the on-going Compaq Cup Tri-Series in Sri Lanka.
“We have set our goals,” Coach, Gary Kirsten, said. ”One of them is to be the best team in the world. We are headed that way and we are very excited. The coach can be optimistic, as 3 of 5 recent series wins have come against the two opponents in the tri-series – Sri Lanka and New Zealand. India defeated Sri Lanka away twice and also won the ODI series in New Zealand recently.
India will miss Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan, but Kirsten believes that the team has depth to do well. Rahul Dravid’s return to one-day cricket after nearly two years will be a boost to the team’s line-up.
”We have got a good batting line-up which is quite flexible in the middle. We would like to mix it up during the series. We have got a very good run in one-day cricket. We have got good depth in the side and the younger players have proved themselves.” a confident Kirsten said.
India open their campaign against New Zealand on Friday and play the hosts, Sri Lanka, the very next day. In this tournament, each side will play two league matches before the top two make it to the finals on September 14th.
India’s squad: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir, Rahul Dravid, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Ashish Nehra, Rudra Pratap Singh, Amit Mishra, Dinesh Karthik, Abhishek Nayar.