With World Cup 2019 around a month away, all participating nations have announced their respective 15-man squads for the quadrennial event. Former captain Sourav Ganguly, who led India to the final of 2003 World Cup, has predicted four teams that might make it to the semifinals of the tournament.
According to Sourav Ganguly, Team India’s current strength makes them”favourites” going into any competition leave alone World Cup where they are sure-shot semifinalists along with Australia, England and Pakistan.
The former India captain, expects that current round-robin format will be one of the most “keenly contested” tournaments we have witnessed.
“My pick for the four semi-finalist spots would be India, Australia, England and Pakistan. India are one of the title-contenders of course,” Ganguly said in an interview.
Ten teams will be competing in the ODI cricket’s quadrennial extravaganza in a round robin format where every team plays each other before the semifinals.
“It’s going to be one of the most keenly contested World Cups. The Indian team is so strong that in any tournament they will be favourites. This World Cup will probably be the best format. The best four teams will reach the semi-finals after playing all the teams. There are no easy teams,” said Ganguly.
Last year, Sourav Ganguly hailed Kohli for his capacity to lead the team from the front and backed him repeat a similar shirtless celebration if he manages to win the 2019 World Cup, to be hosted by England and Wales.
“I can guarantee you now that if he wins that final in Lord’s in 2019, I will be there, you will be there and we better get our cameras ready. As he has got the six packs, I won’t be surprised if he is on the Oxford street with the trophy and with his shirt off… and I can tell you who will be following him — Hardik Pandya,” Ganguly added on a lighter note.
“This is the way I want to express myself and I never felt there is anything wrong with that because that was pure human emotion coming through, said Virat Kohli.
India cricket team skipper Virat Kohli feels his predecessor thrice removed Saurav Ganguly’s famous shirtless tirade at the balcony of the hallowed Lord’s dressing room to celebrate his team’s emphatic victory against the home side in the 2002 NatWest Trophy final was a moment of pure human emotion coming through.
“When I saw that moment happen… I think it is very difficult for people to understand but those things are so organic, so pure that you just go with with without worrying about judgement or what are people are going to say about you,” said Kohli, who was present at a city hotel for a book launch event in Kolkata.
It was in the Lord’s balcony but it could have been anywhere in the world. That was just the pure happiness coming through after you have achieved something against the odds, he noted.
Ganguly also believes that Kuldeep Yadav’s four wickets in nine games is not something that will affect his performance in the World Cup.
“He will get wickets in the World Cup, don’t worry. He’s a superb bowler,” Ganguly said without reading much into Kuldeep’s below-par show for KKR.
The Prince of Kolkata is now playing a pivotal role in the turnaround of Delhi Capitals in search of an elusive IPL title.
“I don’t see the challenges as tough, I just find a way to try and make it work. Sometimes it works, sometimes it does not. It’s a great honour to help these players and turnaround a team which has not done well in the past,” the Delhi Capitals advisor said.
Delhi Capitals are occupying second place behind Chennai Super Kings in the leaderboard as they need one win from three matches to seal their playoff berth.
“Delhi is a mixture of youth and experience. I can only advise so the credit should go to players who actually execute it.”