XtraTime Web Desk: Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Tuesday said the current team under Virat Kohli will have as much chance as they had in 2003 World Cup in South Africa. The Men in Blue under Ganguly reached the finals of the 2003 edition before failing in the last hurdle against Australia.
“Indian cricket is so strong. And they’ve been strong for the last 25-30 years. Every world competition that we play, they’ll have a chance. This team has as much chance as we had in 2003,” said Sourav at an event in Kolkata.
The left-hander also feel it will be good that Virat and his boys will be under some sort of pressure to meet the expectation of a nation in England.
“It’s good that India is under pressure. In fact every other team playing in the World Cup will be under pressure. Sometimes pressure is very good for you to succeed and you need that. You just cannot turn up at any event with an empty head. There has to be some thought process going in that will I succeed or not and that’s where maturity creeps in. You turn that thought in success. So Virat, probably the best player in the world at the moment is as much under pressure as anybody. It will be good for him because he will turn up, work hard, pumped up and get India going.”
Talking about the format for the upcoming event, Ganguly said, “It’s a great World Cup. It is a different format with ten teams playing against each other and the best four qualifies. Suddenly in a years time you realize that Australia can win, England can win, and West Indies and Pakistan also have a great chance. Pakistan’s record in World Cup events in England is remarkable. They recently lost to England by just 5 runs, chasing 271 runs. They also won the Champions Trophy two years ago, won the 2007 T20 World Cup.”
India will meet their arch-rivals on June 16 at Old Trafford in Manchester. The Men in Blue has never lost to Pakistan in the World Cup.
According to Sourav, “I don’t believe in records. Both of them will have to play well on that particular day. Pakistan beat in the final of the Champions Trophy. But India will be a very good side. They will be very hard to beat.”
The former India captain feels Hardik Pandya will play a crucial role in the marquee event.
“Hardik Pandya will play a key role. He is in tremendous form. He will be very, very important for India’s chances,” said Ganguly.