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HindustanTimes Sat,26 Jul 2014

Pakistan, Australia favourites as India face tough road ahead

PTI  Mirpur, March 15, 2014
First Published: 14:51 IST(15/3/2014) | Last Updated: 14:58 IST(15/3/2014)

In their bid to arrest the free fallin for the past few months, a desperate India under Mahendra Singh Dhoni would seek redemption when they start their campaign in the ICC World T20 beginning tomorrow, while Australia and Pakistan have credentials to be labelled as strong contenders.

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On current form, India, the champions of the inaugural edition of 2007 are certainly not the favourites to win the tournament.

Pakistan and a well-balanced Australian side would be seriously vying for the top honours in what promises to be a captivating three-week tournament.

Defending champions West Indies would like to prove that their triumph in 2012 was no flash in pan while Sri Lanka will like to be third time lucky having lost two finals in 2009 and 2012 respectively.

New Zealand with their new-found sensation Corey Anderson will like to end their major Trophy jinx, something that even South Africa under AB de Villiers would also be aiming for.

India last played a T20 International more than five months back and won that particular match against Australia by six wickets with Yuvraj Singh playing a blinder.

T20 is a different format but being beaten comprehensively in both Tests and ODI series in New Zealand is demoralising. Worse, they could not even qualify for the Asia Cup final losing both to Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Two and half months into 2014, India have only two international victories against Bangladesh and Afghanistan, a record that would not make the team proud.

In this backdrop, India will start their World T20 campaign, a tournament where they have failed to reach the semi-finals in the last three editions played in England, West Indies and Sri Lanka.

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