Anjum Chopra: Fitness is a cause for concern for India

Speaking to Sportstar before unveiling the ICC World T20 Trophy (Nissan Trophy) here on Wednesday, former Indian captain Anjum Chopra was of the firm view that fitness remains a major cause of concern for the host.

Anjum Chopra (L) at the unveiling of the ICC World T20 trophy.   -  Special Arrangement

Anjum Chopra, former India’s women cricket team captain, picked India as one of the favourites to lift the ICC World Women’s T20 championship Trophy “simply because it is happening at home.”

Speaking to Sportstar before unveiling the ICC World T20 Trophy (Nissan Trophy) here on Wednesday, Chopra was of the firm view that fitness remains a major cause of concern for the host. “Fitness is a big concern for in T20, one requires lot of power, energy, intensity and running between the wickets. Fitness is not one of India’s strengths,” she said.

Chopra, however, emphasised that India would go into the World championships (India plays its first match against Bangladesh on February 15 in Bangalore) having won the T20 series against Australia and Sri Lanka.

While stressing that bowling would be India’s strengths with its crop of young bowlers in Deepthi Sharma (off-spinner), Poonam Yadav (leg spinner), Shikha Pandey (medium pace), Chopra said the pillars of the team will be captain Mithali Raj, Jhulan Goswami and Harmanpreet Kaur.

According to the 38-year-old, Australia will be the overwhelming favourites while West Indies will be one of the contenders. “They have powerful hitters such as Stafanie Taylor, Deandra Dottin who is of the mould of Chris Gayle. They have been consistent in World T20,” said Chopra, who has played in 127 ODIs. “You can’t completely rule out England and New Zealand.”

Chopra, who played for India in the World T20 championship in ’09 & 10, where India reached the semi-finals in both the editions, said playing alongside the men’s team provided a “nice fillip to us”.

On whether an Indian women’s Premier League would happen, Chopra said “eventually it has to happen. If India wins the World T20 it will open a lot of opportunities and IPL will be one such.”