Despite the criticism faced by Indian cricket team, one of the greatest South African batsman Gary Kirsten is optimistic about India’s performance in the showpiece event. Kirsten believes that India has learnt to win the World Cup and will give their best to defend the title.
“I think there is a lot of pessimism around their opportunities but they have learnt how to win World Cups, so they know how to do it. This World Cup boils down to three games, its that simple — quarters, semis and finals”, he said.
“They have been there, so they know how to manage that space. And I think they have a good chance,” Kirsten told PTI.
Kirsten was the coach of Indian cricket team when India won the World Cup title back in 2011. Going the with the legendary Sunil Gavaskar and Ian Chappel he too sentenced India as favourites for their match against old rival Pakistan. However, he acknowledged that it will be a mistake to completely write off the neighbour.
“Pakistan have these players who you don’t know about but they do something. You look at their team sheet and say whose that and whose that and next thing is that he is doing something. So I don’t think you can ever write off a Pakistan team. I think it will be very dangerous to do that,” said the former South African cricketer.
Both the team will start their World Cup journey against each other in a high voltage match to be played on 15 February in Adelaide. Kirsten said that both the team will be under immense pressure before the match and a win will give them a flying start in the World Cup with an addition of confidence boost necessary for the remaining games in the tournament.
On Kohli’s batting position, he said that the vice-captain has scored 21 century batting at three, and there is no reason to change his batting order, after all, the best batsman should get maximum overs to play.
In a tournament where no team is favourite to win, India has a splendid chance to defend the title with the likes of Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Raina and Skipper Dhoni himself, Kirsten said.