Saha backs India to win Champions Trophy

Asked which teams had the chance to win the Champions Trophy, Wriddhiman Saha said he could not think beyond India. “My first choice is India, second choice is India and third choice is India,” said Saha.

Wriddhiman Saha, Jhulan Goswami and Utpal Chatterjee at the launch of a special edition cricket ball, 'Bengal Tigress', in Kolkata on Saturday.

Wriddhiman Saha may not be part of India’s Champions Trophy campaign in England, but the country’s No.1 Test wicket-keeper is strongly backing the national side to retain the title.

Asked which teams had the chance to win the Champions Trophy, Saha said he could not think beyond India. “My first choice is India, second choice is India and third choice is India,” said Saha.

“Don’t regret not being part of the team. I want the team to win.”

Saha was speaking on the occasion of the launch of a special edition cricket ball, ‘Bengal Tigress,’ in the honour of world’s leading woman wicket-taker in One-Day Internationals Jhulan Goswami.

Saha said India, the defending champion, should play the tournament with confidence. “There is no pressure on India. If they take pressure and play then that will not be good. If they don’t take pressure and play (with the confidence) as defending champion, then it will be good.”

On India’s opening match against arch-rival Pakistan on June 4, Saha said, “It is better to not look at which opposition we are playing. Instead, we should look at the process. If the batsmen and bowlers do their job properly, then we will win no matter whether we play Australia, Pakistan or England.”

Saha backed captain Virat Kohli and former captain M.S. Dhoni to do well in the important event. “Virat is always positive on and off the field. He never thinks if I fail then what. Whenever he plays a shot he is 110 per cent sure. Everybody goes through lean patches. He may overcome that.

“Dhoni has been playing as per the team’s needs. Earlier, he was playing with attacking approach, now he is playing sensibly.”

On the Indian women team’s campaign in the upcoming World Cup in England, Jhulan said the side was well-prepared. “We have been playing a lot of matches and most of them are against quality opposition. Besides, we are going to England 10-12 days in advance in order to acclimatise.”

Jhulan agreed that the presence of some experienced players, including herself and Mithali Raj, would help the team. “Of course, it will help. But everybody has to perform to enable the team to win…Winning the World Cup is the ultimate dream. That’s what you play for. I got inspired seeing Australian captain Belinda Clark doing the victory lap after winning the 1997 World Cup. If we win, then it will inspire the next generation of Indian women cricketers,” said Jhulan.

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