Tendulkar is a clever bowlerLeg-spinner Anil Kumble is improving with age
Mumbai: With the Caribbean set to stage the ninth edition of the cricket World Cup from next month, legendary West Indian all-rounder Garfield Sobers said the host country had the best chance to win the coveted trophy.
``Nothing happens before its time. You look around at England and South Africa, which came back and showed great potential. You also have India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka which have been hosts. I think this is the best time for us. This is the time that we can really look forward to handle the World Cup,'' Sobers said.
The 70-year-old former West Indies player, who played 93 Tests, made it clear that he never played a limited-overs match.
``I would like to put that right because the one-day cricket started in the late seventies and I retired in 1974. What they call a one-day international, was really that we had beaten England in three days and they had two days in the match,'' he said.
``Nobody knew that it was an international match or anything. It doesn't matter what the Wisden says or whatever anybody says, I have never played a one-day international because you can't call that, it was not told to us that we were playing a one-day international. We were just making up the lost time,'' Sobers said.
On how he would have played in the one-dayers, Sobers said one-day cricket would not have made much difference to his style because he was always an attacking player.
About India's chances at the World Cup, Sobers said, ``last time India made it to the final, they had a strong batting line-up. ``They have got two good spin bowlers. What people don't realise about the Indian side is the little man Sachin Tendulkar who bowls cleverly.''
Sobers said that on many occasions, Sachin had come out as one of India's best bowlers when the going got tough because ``he knows what he is doing and is a clever bowler''.
Looking further into the composition of the side, the former West Indies captain said ``Harbhajan Singh is a good spinner, he could be your key man. Leg-spinner Anil Kumble is improving with age.
``I listened to a programme on Wednesday in which he said he is still learning after all these years. That shows how keen he is,'' Sobers said.
He also said India had a fairly well-balanced team and there were not many all-rounders currently in World Cricket with South Africa's Jacques Kallis and Andrew Flintoff of England as exceptions. PTI