Ganguly picks India World T20 favourites, Windies dark horses
Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday said India have the firepower to win the Twenty20 World Cup in Sri Lanka next month and chose the West Indies as the dark horses. "When you have players like Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag, M.S. Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh it is very difficult to count India out. There is a lot of firepower there," said the former India captain at a promotional event organised by World T20 broadcaster ESPN Star Sports.
Asked about Piyush Chawla and Lakshmipathy Balaji's selection, Ganguly quipped that Chawla is proving to be a lucky mascot as India won the World Cup with him in the squad. As for Balaji, he said, the Tamil Nadu medium-pacer bowled exceedingly well in Pakistan under his captaincy and he looked good playing for the Kolkata Knight Riders in the Indian Premier League last season.
"India have most things going in their favour. The tournament is going to be held in the sub-continent and they will be confident after their performance in the one-day series in Sri Lanka. Having said that, the tournament format is short and India are in a tough group," said Ganguly, adding that it will be difficult to stop India if Sehwag fires at the top.
India are pooled with Afghanistan and England in the group stages and will need to win seven matches to get their hands on the trophy for the second time.
Talking about the other teams, Ganguly sai, "The West Indies are a powerhouse. They are very dangerous in the shortest format with the presence of Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Dwayne Bravo and Dwayne Smith and they have pacers who bowl at 150 kmph plus.
In addition, they have a very talented spinner in Sunil Narine. South Africa are also a good side and are rightly ranked the top test team. England have the advantage of having a world class spinner in Graeme Swann, though they are bound to miss Kevin Pietersen," said he.
Former India batsman Sanjay Manjrekar, also part of the channel's commentary team, agreed with Ganguly about the West Indies beiung the dark horse.
"As Ganguly said, the West Indies look a formidable unit. They have a good chance of winning the competition as it is a bit of a lottery. Considering the format, there are bound to be upsets and surprises," said Manjrekar talking about the tight scheduling of the 27 matches involving 12 teams.
The World T20 runs from Sep 18 to Oct 12.