"Will Australia do it this time, or New Zealand, who are gelling and combining so well under the leadership of Brendon McCullum? Will India be able to defend their title? Or will South Africa finally swallow it?" Gavaskar asked.

"Nowhere has the World Cup been so hard to predict as this one with many teams fancying their chances and it will perhaps be the most competitive World Cup ever," he wrote in his Foreword for the book 'Cricket World Cup - the Indian Challenge' written by journalist Ashish Ray.
     
Gavaskar, who played in four World Cups (1975, 79, 83 and 89), said that ODI cricket has changed a lot since the 1970s and the Indian team has also transformed from just playing for "fun" in those early days to becoming one of the best sides in the world.

“...limited overs cricket in 1970s was quite different from what it is on Friday. Firstly it was played in white clothes with a red ball and with no 30 metre circle or any other field restrictions. Neither were bouncers restricted to two per over, and for the first three World Cups it was a 60 overs-a-side-game. The boundaries were right up to the fence at the ground and sixes were not hit too often as now. It was a different game then," he wrote.
     
"It had its challenges, and biggest one for Indian team was to take the format as seriously as Test match format. It was only after the Indian team participated in a tri-series in  Australia in 1980-81 where they played five matches against each other teams that they began to think about tactics and how to win a game.
     
"Till then, it was mostly a format played for fun and the results did not really affect any player's position in Test team," said 65-year-old Gavaskar who retired from international cricket in 1987 after playing 125 Tests and 108 ODIs.

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