‘If India does not win this T20 WC…’

India last won a World Cup on April 2, 2011 and Captain Rohit Sharma knows his team will have to do a lot of things right to lift the T20 World Cup trophy in Australia.

Their last ICC trophy came back in 2013 when they won the Champions Trophy.

India enter the World Cup as strong favourites along with hosts Australia, on the back of back-to-back series win at home against Australia and South Africa.

Ahead of the T20 World Cup, Sunil Gavaskar believes that if India don’t win the World Cup, it will come as a real surprise.

‘One thing for sure. If the Indian team does not win this T20 World Cup it won’t be for lack of preparation. Not only have they gone to Australia almost three weeks before their first game of the tournament, they are also playing practice games against good sides that should get them ready for the tournament,’ says Gavaskar.

‘The old saying, ‘If you fail to prepare then prepare to fail’ will not apply to this Indian team as, apart from these games in Australia, they also played six T20 matches at home and won four out of those to show that they are tuning in nicely for the big event,’ Gavaskar wrote in his column for the Mid-Day newspaper.

‘India’s performance in the white ball bilaterals has always been good, be it at home or overseas, but it’s in the multilateral events that they have been stumbling. In the past it’s been because they have come cold into the event. But that isn’t the case this time around and that’s why, with a terrific blend of youth and experience, there’s optimism among Indian cricket fans that the Cup should be coming home,’ Gavaskar, who signed off from international cricket, with a fabulous showing in the 1987 ODI World Cup, including his first ODI hundred.

‘Yes, the other teams have also been playing practice games and that should hold them in good stead, but there’s a buzz about this Indian team despite the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja,’ he said.

Gavaskar also believes given the crowd backing in Australia and the wonderful support staff at helm, the Indians could feel at home.

‘The T20 game can turn on its head in a matter of deliveries so the best of teams can flounder and that’s why it’s hard to call any team the favourite. The host country are also the defending champions so they obviously will have the slight edge that familiarity with conditions and pitches give any home team plus the crowd support,’ Gavaskar added.

‘The Indian team is blessed that it gets support anywhere they play and so even overseas they have tremendous cheer from their fans. That can also be pressure, but then, what is international sport where the best of one country play the best of the other and what else is that but pressure and more pressure.’

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