#CWC15 PREVIEW: What they are saying about Cricket World Cup Pool B

At cricketbadger.com we are all over the ICC Cricket World Cup. Here we look at what the teams in Pool B are saying ahead of battle commencing…

INDIA

Virat Kohli

Javagal Srinath loved the World Cup stage as a fast bowler at four World Cups between 1992 and 2003, taking 44 wickets, and he has urged the Indians to play with passion: “One of the things I can state from experience is that when the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 mindset takes over, then the mind automatically starts to operate in such a way that injury recovery begins in the mind first before the body actually starts to heal,” he said.

“Once you put your heart and soul into preparation, then what might seem like miracles will start happening.”

Captain MS Dhoni is concerned about the length of India’s tour to Australia, which started late last year. They have been Down Under for three months, yet still haven’t won a game: “I know that cooked and over-cooked is a very fine line between them - and especially if you do a barbecue, you can understand that,” he said. “It’s not easy to play four Test matches followed by a tri-nation series.

“So this break would have definitely helped them to recharge their batteries … only time will tell.”

READ OUR PREVIEW: Can Dhoni’s last stand enable India to retain their title?

IRELAND

Ireland-Cricket-TeamThe Irish have appointed Australia legend Brett Lee as a part-time bowling coach for the World Cup, with head coach Phil Simmons admitting: “Brett Lee has a wonderful knowledge of fast bowling, and his special insight of Australian pitches will help give our bowlers further confidence ahead of their group matches.

“I’m sure all our bowlers will benefit from the experience that a two-time World Cup winner has accumulated, especially in the pressure situations of a global event.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity for our bowlers to learn from a living legend, and one I’m sure they’ll all benefit from.”

Captain Will Porterfield has stated what would be considered a good World Cup Ireland: “Getting out of our group,” he said. “We’ve done that on previous occasions in different formats of World Cups.

“That’s first and foremost, that’s our goal to get through that and reassess from there. Once you get through your group, you are in straight knockout games. That’s the priority for ourselves to get into that top four.”

READ OUR PREVIEW: Ireland after more major scalps at Cricket World Cup

PAKISTAN

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Younis Khan

Waqar Younis, Pakistan’s coach, said: “I am happy that we are not favourites. To be very honest, it’s big pressure of being favourites.

“We were not favourites last time (in 2011) too, but we played excellent cricket. Similarly this time, there are teams which play on those bouncy wickets, like Australia and South Africa, and are probably bigger favourites than us. But we hope that with the type of resources, we have we can do well.”

Captain Misbah-ul-Haq said of their opener against arch-rivals India at Adelaide on Sunday: “We are focused for the match, and the players are going to play wilot of passion and commitment to try to win the match.

“I think we have our best possible preparations for the World Cup, and we are going with a positive mindset and try to win every match and the World Cup.

“We have only one thing in mind; that is to play our best cricket in this event because we know how closely the World Cup is followed by everyone and the expectations attached with our team.”

READ OUR PREVIEW: Pakistan’s clash with India will be litmus test for chances

SOUTH AFRICA

Captain AB De Villiers is in confident mood as his side head into the tournament as one of the favoured outfits. He said: “Obviously the Aussies are the number one in the world at the moment in the shorter format.

“They’re playing at home, which brings a different dimension to the whole thing, maybe a little bit of extra pressure.

“But we’re certainly one of the favourites, there’s no hiding from that fact. We enjoy being one of the best teams in the world. We’ve beaten the Aussies not too long ago in Zimbabwe, so to have that kind of confidence that we can be the best team in the world - and at the tournament, we’ve got the opportunity to prove it - gives us great opportunity.

“We’re expected to come here and win the tournament. We understand that, and obviously there’s pressure. But we don’t mind that. We’re here to win.”

READ OUR PREVIEW: de Villiers’ South Africa can deny Australia the glory

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

Coach Aaqib Javed, a World Cup winner with Pakistan in Australia and New Zealand in 1992, says his team is ready for the tournaments: “I’m the most satisfied person because we achieved a few targets. Fitness wise, fielding, bowling and batting, I think they’re all cov­ered.

“I think we are actually in control and slightly above than what we have already targeted.

“When we first started, our yo-yo (running fitness test) test score on average was 14 and now it’s 18. It’s a huge im­provement. And in fielding, there were no more then 20 or 25 per cent who could dive and slide, but now all of them can dive and slide.”

Captain Mohammad Tauqir added: “We are targeting one or two wins. It’s a challenging but a realistic target. These players are capable of causing an upset.”

READ OUR PREVIEW: UAE to take second Cricket World Cup bow

WEST INDIES

Chris Gayle

All-rounder Darren Sammy is confident of putting a difficult build-up behind him: “With the amount of match winners we have in our squad, we could be a force to be reckoned with,” he said. “But we’ve got to play as a team.

“Chris (Gayle) has been the star for us, but it’s always good when performances come from different players. That makes a team strong.”

West Indies legend Sir Vivian Richards has echoed Sammy’s thoughts after build-up riddled with internal political spats: “They might like to use the off-field events and motivate themselves as a unit.

“It has been a long time since West Indies won the World Cup, and I think this balanced squad has what it takes to regain that glory.”

Fast bowler Jason Holder is their new one-day skipper. At 23, he is their youngest ever captain, but he has to succeed without star players Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard, shock omissions from the squad: “I am not the selector,” he said. “It’s out of our control. Not having them would be a huge loss to any side. But it’s beyond our control, and we have to accept it and move on.”

READ OUR PREVIEW: Confused West Indies a shadow of former self

ZIMBABWE

Brendan Taylor

New coach Dav Whatmore said: “Our team is well capable of making the Super Eights (quarter-finals) at this World Cup, which is our objective. We can achieve that by winning at least three of our group stage games, and that’s exactly what we are going to try and do.”

Batsman Craig Ervine added: “The most important games are Ireland and the UAE. If we lose one of those, it makes the task of getting to the quarter-finals ten times harder. But if we can win both of those, and hopefully cause an upset with one of the others, it gives us a chance.”

Experienced off-spinner Prosper Utseya is out of the tournament having been found to have an illegal bowling action, and gun batsman Brendan Taylor regrets his absence: “Prosper’s situation didn’t help us. He was our banker in the middle overs but Sean Williams has proven to be very handy for us and Tafadzwa Kamungozi is quite economical. I think the fifth bowler is a tricky one. If we can sneak a few overs out of Sikandar Raza and maybe Hamilton Masakadza, we should get through. But you have to be careful on smaller grounds where big teams will look to target that fifth bowler.”

READ OUR PREVIEW: Weak Zimbabwe will struggle to trouble opponents

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