Holding slams 'pathetic' West Indies

West Indies great Michael Holding has slammed the side's four-wicket loss to Ireland in their World Cup opener as a "little bit pathetic". "It was a little bit pathetic to be honest," said Holding. "I've been saying since this World Cup started that 300 on a good pitch here in New Zealand or Australia is just a par score, irrespective of who you're playing against," he added. "The West Indies, I do not understand how they could ever think that just over 300 runs that they would just automatically win. They cannot take things for granted."

Kirsten feels India can retain title

Former India coach Gary Kirsten exuded confidence in the defending champions, asserting that they have what it takes to retain the cricket World Cup crown. "They can retain the title. Absolutely! Everyone seems to write off India but that is a very dangerous thing to do because they know how to play knockout games. They did incredibly well in 2011 and they have a good reference point there. They have got a serious batting line-up. Don't discount them, they know what they are doing."

Hussey rules India out of semis race

Australia’s 'Mr Cricket' Mike Hussey believes that current Indian team will be a "force" to reckon with in near future but ruled out  Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his boys from semi-final race. "India are an exciting team as I have loved watching them this summer. There is so much talent and I am sure they are going to be a force in years to come." My semi-final line-up will be Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka," Hussey, who was a part of victorious Australian world champion team of 2007, said.

Tendulkar wary

of South Africa threat

Cricket icon Sachin Tendulkar has issued a warning to triumphant India about their upcoming World Cup match against South Africa, saying the Proteas were "far, far superior" to arch-rivals Pakistan. Tendulkar said India would need a strong opening partnership and careful running between the wickets to beat South Africa. "It won't be so easy to pick singles," Tendulkar said. "They (South Africa) are much faster, their throwing arm is more powerful and their outfielding ... they cover the area much better than Pakistan." Tendulkar singled out South Africa's spearhead Dale Steyn as the man India's batsmen needed to fear.

Ireland shouldn't

be a 'feeder nation' for England

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting has argued Ireland shouldn't be a 'feeder nation' for England. As England are being captained by Ireland’s Eoin Morgan, Ponting showed sympathy with Ireland. "I'm very sympathetic to countries like Ireland that could keep losing their best players. It's something that I feel shouldn't happen," Ponting told the BBC. "If the ICC look at that and are serious about Ireland continuing to grow as a nation and maybe one day being a Test-playing nation then they can't afford to have their better players going off at a young age."