Kolkata: Indian middle-order batsman Yuvraj Singh said India needed to improve their fielding during the forthcoming World Cup by avoiding the mistakes of their last trip to the West Indies if they want to bring home the coveted trophy after 24 years.
Talking to reporters during a visit to the city, he said: "Last time we went to the West Indies where we lost the one-day international (ODI) series 1-4. We made a lot of mistakes and could not adapt to the conditions. We cannot afford to make those if we want to win the cup this time.
"Hopefully we have learnt from our last tour's mistakes. This time the field will be tougher," Singh added.
He also said that India would have to improve its fielding.
"We are improving our fielding. That is one area we have to improve upon. And we are working hard in that area."
Asked if the absence of athletic fielders like Suresh Raina and Mohammad Kaif from the team would be felt in the Caribbean, Yuvraj said: "It is unfortunate that we do not have them. But at the same time, we have outstanding and wonderful fielders like Robin Uthappa and Dinesh Kaarthick."
Singh returned to the Indian team in the last two matches of the home ODI series against Sri Lanka after recovering from a knee injury that had left him out of the game since the Champions Trophy in October.
"I played well in the last match. I've got confidence. I'm happy at the way I made progress after the severe (knee) injury," he said.
He sounded confident about Virender Sehwag. "I am sure that he and Irfan Pathan will also deliver the goods during the Cup. We are all backing him and are sure he will fire," he said.
Singh said he would also like to bowl if given a chance in the West Indies. "If I get a chance, I'll definitely bowl."
Asked to make a comparison between the present Indian team and the one that played in the World Cup four years ago, Singh said: "We had a great team four years ago. Now also we have a good team." "There have not been many changes from the side which played in 2003," he said. "We need to win the final if we reach there this time."
Singh said it would not be right to underestimate title holders Australia, who are going through a form slump. "You can't underestimate them. They did not play their full-strength team in their recent loss to New Zealand," he said.
Asked to rate the chances of the teams to win, Singh said: "Australia will definitely be a semi-finalist. South Africa is now the number one side in ODIs. Pakistan is also a team that deserve to win. In fact, each of the top five teams can turn the game on their day."
He said the absence of Aussie tearaway fast bowler Brett Lee would be felt in the World Cup.