SYDNEY - Australia's two-time World Cup winning captain Ricky Ponting Wednesday said India were a "very dangerous " team and a serious contender to retain the coveted trophy. "India have got too many class players in their team to not be serious contenders at some stage. If they happen to play as well as they can, they are very dangerous," the former batsman was quoted as saying by bccitv.com.
"I think they will get better, it was a very encouraging start for them the other day, although I thought it was a pretty weak Pakistani side," Ponting said, refering to India's emphatic win over Pakistan in their lung-opener Sunday. The 40-year-old, who was instrumental in getting Australia the World Cup in 2003 with his knock of 140 against India in the final at Johannesburg, said the the men in blue had a tough time in the Test and tri-series leading upto the big event this time, but hoped the tune up after the dismal tour has been utilised well. "India got into the World Cup after a tough time in the Test series and the tri-series. But I got a feeling that they got a bit of a downtime after that and started to build things up at the start of this tournament," he said adding he would still put his bet on his country to lift the trophy for a record fifth time. "I think Australia are favourites."