Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Iconic India batsman Sachin Tendulkar believes the national team are the favourites to win the World Cup later this year.
Tendulkar feels that India have excellent players in all departments and could very well win the tournament for the third time, with their last two triumphs coming in 1983 and 2011.
“As far as our chances are concerned, I will not hesitate in saying that we are the favourites,” Tendulkar told PTI as quoted by ESPNcricinfo. “I have gone on record saying that we have a perfect balance in the team where we will be competitive in any part of the world or on any surface.”
In regards to the teams that could give India a run for their money, Tendulkar singled out England and New Zealand, who recently lost 4-1 to India in a five-match ODI series.
“I know New Zealand have struggled in this series but it’s a good unit, one needs to be on their toes [when playing them],” Tendulkar said. “It’s all about getting the early momentum. My judgement on the toughest contenders would be England, while New Zealand would be the dark horse.”
The 45-year-old also feels that Australia could pose a threat since Steve Smith and David Warner’s 12-month bans will have concluded by the time the quadrennial tournament begins.
“I think Australia at full strength will be a formidable side,” Tendulkar said. “With Smith and David Warner back in the team and their other bowlers coming back into the ODI squad, it will be a competitive side.”
The World Cup will kick off on May 30, but India’s first game will be against South Africa on June 5 in Southampton.