April 25, 2019 7:04:41 pm
The current Indian team’s strength makes them “favourites” going into any competition leave alone World Cup where they are sureshot semifinalists alongside Australia, England and Pakistan. The former India captain, who led the team to the 2003 World Cup finals expects that current round robin format will be one of the most “keenly contested” tournament.
“My pick for the four semifinalists spot would be India, Australia, England and Pakistan. India are one of the title-contenders of course,” Ganguly told PTI in an interview. Ten teams will be competing in the ODI cricket’s quadrennial extravaganza in a round robin format where every team plays each other before the semifinals.
“It’s going to be one of the most keenly contested World Cups. Indian team is so strong that in any tournament they will be favourites. This World Cup will probably be the best format. The best four teams will reach the semi-finals playing all the teams. There are no easy teams,” said Ganguly.
Kuldeep Yadav’s four wickets in nine games is not something that will affect his performance in the World Cup. “He will get wickets in the World Cup, don’t worry. He’s a superb bowler,” Ganguly said without reading much into Kuldeep’s below-par show for KKR.
The Prince of Kolkata is now playing a pivotal role in the turnaround of Delhi Capitals in search of an elusive IPL title. “I don’t see the challenges as tough, I just find a way to try and make it work. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. It’s a great honour to help these players and turn around a team which has not done well in the past,” the Delhi Capitals advisor said.
Delhi Capitals are occupying second place behind Chennai Super Kings in the leaderboard as they need one win from three matches to seal their playoff berth. “Delhi is a mixture of youth and experience. I can only advice so the credit should go to players who actually execute it.”
The team has two legends at the helm with Ganguly working alongside his former Aussie counterpart Ricky Ponting who is the head coach of the franchise. “We are great friends for a long period of time. I was the runners-up in the (2003) World Cup which he had won. He has great experience. It’s been a pleasure working with him. The way he adjusts to player’s needs is a remarkable experience. He’s a fantastic coach,” Ganguly said showering praise on Ponting.
Asked about the glitz and glamour of the IPL, Ganguly said: “IPL is pure sport. The glitz and glamour is just 15 per cent. 85% is actually professional, hard cricket. Players are under enormous pressure to perform.”
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