Spin bowling, all-rounders give India an advantage

Mumbai: Former cricket captain Rahul Dravid says the number of batsmen in the Indian team who can bowl part-time spin gives the Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led team an advantage in the World Cup commencing on February 19.

"India are obviously one of the favourites. They have been playing well for a number of years. It?s a well-balanced side with a number of spinning all-rounders or part-time bowlers, which gives India a big advantage," said Dravid after receiving Ceat Cricket Rating World Cup Retro award.

Dravid also felt the real Cup will start after the group stage when the quarter-finals commence with the top four teams in each of the two groups going into the knock-out mode.

"Everyone knows who are going to be the quarter-finalists. The real World Cup will kick off then. I love to say India will win the Cup but every other team from the quarter-final will be fancying their chances," said Dravid.

Dravid said he was impressed with Dhoni?s recent statement that playing at home is being looked as an added responsibility by the Indian team.

"It`s a great privilege to be playing at home in front of home fans. Rather than seeing it as pressure, it should be seen as a great privilege," he said.

He also welcomed the format of the 2011 tournament and said "I wish it was there in 2007," referring to India?s early elimination when he had led the team four years ago in the West Indies.

"It`s a matter of peaking at the right time, keeping fit and enjoying and keeping the spirit up during the long tournament," he added.