India’s defeat in the recently concluded ODI World Cup still hurts Ravi Shastri, but the former India captain and coach believes that the Men in Blue could be ‘serious’ title contenders for the T20 World Cup, which will be held in the West Indies and the United States in June next year.
“It was heartbreaking but a lot of our guys will learn, the game moves on. I see India winning a World Cup very soon. It might not be a 50-overs (one) that easily because you have to rebuild the side, but 20-overs cricket, the very next one India will be very serious challengers because you have got the nucleus, this is a shorter format of the game. Your focus should be on that,” Shastri said on the sidelines of the Indian Street Premier League launch event on Monday.
Throwing light on India’s ODI World Cup campaign, where it won 10 successive games before losing to Australia in the final, Shastri said: “It was fabulous. To be honest, it still hurts from the outside that we could not win the cup because we were the strongest team…The way the bowling stood up towards the mid stage of the tournament you thought they had a great, great chance…”
But, by his own admission, nothing comes easy. “Even the great man Sachin Tendulkar had to wait (for) six World Cups to win one. You don’t win the World Cup (easily); to win a World Cup, you have got to be damn good on that big day. What you do earlier does not count, on that big day, that is when you rise to the occasion. Even before the start of the tournament you knew what happens (in terms of the format). Early doors are there and once top four teams are there - (its) semifinals and final. So, on those two days if you perform, you win,” Shastri said.
“And those were the two days when Australia performed when they came from nowhere. They lost the first two, but on the D-day, the two days, they did it.”
Australia suffered two early losses in the tournament but bounced back in style to clinch its record sixth ODI World Cup title.
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