T20 World Cup: India favourites to win the title, Virat Kohli seems to have found inner peace, says David Hussey | Cricket News



MELBOURNE: As 1.3 billion plus Indian fans count down to the India vs England semi-final in Adelaide on Thursday, the anticipation and excitement continues to grow, as the fans keep their fingers crossed for the Men in Blue to win their second T20 World Cup title and the first since the inaugural edition in 2007.
Rohit Sharma and co. played some good cricket and entered the knockout rounds quite comfortably, though there is considerable talk about over-dependence on the likes of Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav in the batting department.
Ahead of the second semi-final of the tournament, TimesofIndia.com caught up with former Australian cricketer David Hussey in Melbourne to talk about India’s chances of winning the title.
Talking about the finals. Your take on just how open this particular edition of the T20 World Cup has been?
It’s been an incredible tournament.You’ve seen upsets, rain, poor weather and some unbelievable play. Virat Kohli’s backfoot shot off Haris Rauf is probably the shot of the tournament. Yeah, you’ve seen hardtack candy as fast bowling it’s back into. Yeah, it’s been an amazing tournament. We got down to the semifinals now, and I can’t wait to see what happens in those matches.
Well, I know that you have a soft spot in your heart when it comes to Team India as well as Indian fans of course know you very well and you have a big fan following yourself in India, talking about the men in blue this time going into the World Cup, there were memories that were very fresh in almost every Indian cricket fans mind about what happened last time around, where they couldn’t make the knockouts. This time around things are of course very different. But the way India has played in this tournament, your take on the brand of cricket that Rohit Sharma and Company have brought?
‘Balanced’, that’s probably the brand. They know how to sort of soak up the big moments of the game. They got Virat Kohli and Suryakumar Yadav playing superbly well. Their bowling line-up is exceptional. Arshdeep Singh has been the find of the tournament. He’s been exceptional. The spinners are very good. Overall they’re very well balanced, very well coached and everybody on the bench seems nice and relaxed, which is a nice quality to have, which I assume has come from Rahul Dravid.
Quick word on Australia. Of course not a very good old thing for them. They were defending champions. Your take on what went wrong?
Well look, they didn’t make enough runs, Didn’t take enough wickets, They’re high runs per over. I thought they were strategically poor and the team selection was not good either. They didn’t get going in the tournament. They started off slowly against the Kiwis and then just fell over the line against Sri Lanka and then just followed the line against the Afghans. So yeah, it’s been a poor tournament. I’m sure that reflects on and yeah it’s been pretty disappointing for not making it to the final in your home tournament.
Well when it comes to Australia and big tournaments, I don’t think any other team in the history of the game has fared better and the record for Australian cricket speaks for itself. Not so much for Indian cricket, because India have that monkey on their shoulders of not having won an ICC tournament for a fair bit since the Champions Trophy in 2013. They won the inaugural T20 World Cup 2007 in South Africa. This time around, do you think that jinx can be broken? Can India become the second team after the West Indies to win two titles?
Well, they’re the favourites. They’re well balanced across the board, good openers, fine all-rounders and a good bowling attack. Definitely, yeah, they’re probably predicted to win the tournament.They’re probably playing the most consistent cricket out of the lots. The bogey side probably is for mine is the Kiwis. They’re really well balanced as well. They know their roles exceptionally well and they know how to win on big stages. But they were the runners up last year and you have to have that pain in order to win the tournament. Who knows, but probably backing the Indians to win tomorrow night against the English and then here on Sunday against the Kiwis hopefully.
You spoke about Arshdeep being perhaps the find of the tournament, especially when it comes to Team India. I have to ask you one quick question on Virat Kohli, one you’ve seen also over the years develop and mature into the cricketer that he’s become now. It seems as if he’s playing with a lot more freedom, especially after he went through that very lean phase. Critics across the world, not just in India, of course, were up in arms about the quality of cricket that he was playing or that he wasn’t managing to get those very big scores. But then he set that benchmark very high for himself. You know, the bar was set very high by himself. He seems to have found that next year and entered that next phase of his life and of his cricketing career, your take on the Virat that we’re seeing on display here this time in Australia in this particular issue?
Firstly, Kohli is a big game player, he is a big tournament player. He scores big runs in big games so we can figure out the Test match runs he makes out here in Australia every year and every time he plays against Australia. What I’ve seen of him, he seems nice, calm and relaxed and he seems to have found inner peace where he’s only worried about the cricket ball coming down. He’s playing for the team which is exceptional and I think he’s sort of like the captain of the batting team where everybody sort of facts around him is. It is really entertaining to watch him. Kohli and SKY (Suryakumar Yadav) partnership is probably the best or most entertaining partnership in the world.


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