Former cricketers pick India as favourite for World T20

Cricketing greats such as Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly, Wasim Akram and Inzamam-ul-Haq picked India as the overwhelming favourite to win the World T20 title at home.

Kapil Dev believes India is the best prepared team for the World Twenty20.   -  AP

Cricketing greats such as Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly, Wasim Akram and Inzamam-ul-Haq today picked India as the overwhelming favourite to win the World T20 title at home.

“Final is far away but India has a very good chance with the way [it has] 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 [it has] done in the last 8-9 matches, if [it] shows the same intensity, India [has] a very good chance. India [is] going into the tournament in very good form,” said Ganguly at the Aaj Tak Salaam Cricket conclave.

Wasim Akram, sharing the dais with Ganguly, Kapil, Inzamam and Mohammad Azharuddin, too backed the host to win the title for the second time. "India [is] the favourite 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. [It] should forget what happened in Asia Cup and enjoy the tournament,” said Akram.

Home advantage

On controversy over India-Pakistan 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 has a well-balanced side and it will be a challenge for the other teams to compete against [it]. “I normally don’t pick favourites but this time I will have to say India looks best prepared. Apart from it, 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 [is] the stand-out favourite. Talking about Pakistan, the team doesn’t seem to be motivated enough. India has a great leader in (M.S.) 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, the 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. [It is] in top form at the moment. My top four will be India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand.”