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ICC T20 World Cup 2021: India are genuine contenders, says Ganguly

Bengaluru, October 16: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) President Sourav Ganguly believes the Indian cricket team under Virat Kohli are genuine contenders for the ICC T20 World Cup 2021.

The former Indian skipper opined that Kohli and Co only need to show a bit of maturity to claim the trophy.

At the T20 World Cup being held at three venues in the UAE, India are drawn in Group 2 along with arch-rivals Pakistan, New Zealand and Afghanistan.

India will open their ICC T20 World Cup 2021 campaign against Pakistan on October 24 at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

ICC T20 World Cup 2021 Fixtures

"So, you don't become champions easily and you just don't become champions just by stepping into a tournament, so they've to get through the process and show maturity," Ganguly said after Games24x7, a multi-game platform launched a new campaign -- titled 'Game Ke Deewane' -- for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup, on its fantasy sports platform, 'My11Circle'.

"They all have the talent, they all have the skill to score runs and take wickets at this level. They just have to be mentally in good space to win the World Cup," the flamboyant former left-handed batter quipped.

Ganguly said the side should focus on winning every game instead of targetting the title straight up. "...(the) title is only won when the finals are finished. So, you have a lot of cricket to be played before that and I think India should focus (on) every game, India should focus on winning every game and just taking it from there and not think about the title at the start," he said.

"They (India) will always be contenders in whatever competition they play in and the challenge for them is to be at peace with themselves, focus on the process rather than the results because the most toughest thing and the most wrong thing to do is when you take guard and you think I am here to win the World Cup. "...what is important is to play the next ball which is coming out of the hand and keep doing that till you get to the finals," he added.

Seeing the trend in the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2021 does Ganguly expect a low-scoring T20 World Cup? "No, no, I don't think so," he responded. "Maybe in Sharjah it will be because of the wickets, but Dubai is an absolute belter, the IPL final was an absolute belter.

"Abu Dhabi will be a great surface to bat on and it is going to be a great World Cup," added the 49-year-old.

After the Pakistan match, India have a gap of almost a week before they take on New Zealand at the same venue on October 31.

The Men in Blue wind up their group engagements with a tie against Afghanistan on November 3 at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

Top two teams from each group advance to the semifinals. The tournament concludes on November 14 at Dubai.

The tournament was initially scheduled to be held in India before beng moved to the UAE.

(With PTI inputs)

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Story first published: Saturday, October 16, 2021, 17:20 [IST]
Other articles published on Oct 16, 2021