Cricketing greats such as Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly, Wasim Akram and Inzamam ul Haq today picked India as the overwhelming favourites to win the World T20 title at home.
“Final is far away but India have a very good chance with the way they have played of late (including Asia Cup). Things were looking a lot different not so long ago (when the team lost to Bangladesh and South Africa in ODIs). What they have done in the last 8-9 matches, if they show the same intensity India have a very good chance. India are going into the tournament in very good form,” said Ganguly at the Aaj Tak’s Salaam Cricket conclave here today.
Wasim Akram, sharing the dais with Ganguly, Kapil, Inzamam and Mohammad Azharuddin, too backed the hosts to win the title for the second time.
“India are the favourites and the other top contenders will be South Africa, New Zealand and Australia. Pakistan will be unpredictable as usual. It is a new tournament and new game for Pakistan. They should forget what happened in Asia Cup and enjoy the tournament,” said Akram.
On controversy over Indo-Pak tie in Dharamsala, Akram said: “The two governments, the two boards, the ICC is also involved. Hopefully the issues are sorted out soon and the match takes place. The tournament is happening in India so it is the country’s responsibility to ensure security of every team.”
Kapil said India have a well-balanced side and it will be a challenge for the other teams to compete against them.
“I normally don’t pick favourites but this time I will have to say India look best prepared. Apart from them, the other semifinalists will be Australia, South Africa and Pakistan. M S Dhoni doesn’t have a lot of problems at the moment,” said the former India captain.
“India are the stand out favourites. Talking about Pakistan, the team doesn’t seem to be motivated enough. India has a great leader in (Mahendra Singh) Dhoni. Not many teams would have made a comeback like India did after losing the ODI series to Australia,” said Inzamam.
Talking about the other teams to watch out for, former Pakistan batsman picked South Africa, New Zealand and England.
Azharuddin added: “It will be home advantage and not pressure for our team. Turning wickets will be good for India. They are in top form at the moment. My top four will be India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.