Mithali: Dhoni's expertise makes India favourites at World Cup

Mithali Raj believes India to be the favourites leading into the World Cup, with having Dhoni and other match-winners in its ranks.

Mithali Raj has picked India as one of the favourites for the upcoming World Cup.   -  PTI

The presence of match-winners coupled with Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s expertise make India favourites to lift the upcoming ICC Cricket World Cup, believes Mithali Raj, captain of women’s ODI team.

“The Indian team has a lot of match-winners now,” Mithali said in a video posted on Twitter.

“Of course, the captain (Virat Kohli) leads from the front with the openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, but we also have fast bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah and the spinners,” she said.

“But overall I think, the team which posts a big total and the bowlers who are able to do the job to contain those runs, is the team which is going to win. But then we do have a lot of depth. We have the expertise of Dhoni in the side. So, I can’t pick one player, but India definitely has a lot of match-winners.”

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In the video, Mithali can be seen sharing her views on the World Cup with Andrew Fleming, British Deputy High Commissioner posted in Hyderabad.

“All the teams, all the main players are in good form with the IPL just wrapping up recently. Everyone is now looking forward to the World Cup,” she said.

Asked which team has a better chance to lift the trophy, Mithali said, “India is absolutely going in as favourites because they have been doing very well in the one-dayers and in other formats in the recent past.”

Mithali, however, also picked host England as another team who can go on to clinch their maiden 50-over World Cup title.

“But I cannot rule out the home team (England). Even they have done very well. They had some 10 to 15 victory streaks in the one-dayers. They will also play on home conditions. Having said that, I think as an Indian I will root for India,” she said.

India will gear up for the World Cup with warm-up matches against New Zealand and Bangladesh on May 25 and 28 respectively.

Virat Kohli and Co. will open their World Cup campaign against South Africa on June 5 at Southampton.