Ahmedabad, March 11 (IANS) Both India and England have called each other favourites for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in what appears to be a bid to stave off pressure from themselves.
The T20 World Cup is scheduled to take place in October-November in Indian, and five-match T20I series that begins on Friday at the Narendra Modi Stadium here from Friday between world No. 1 England and world No. 2 India is being touted as a dress rehearsal by two top title contenders.
Asked if his boys are the favourites for the T20 World Cup, skipper Virat Kohli said no and called England favourites instead.
“I don’t think [we are the favourites]. I think it is England who will be the team to beat. They are the No. 1 side in the world. The prime focus will be on them at this (T20) World Cup. All the other teams will be wary of the strengths that they bring on the park. It is England who are the favourites. That will not change regardless of how they (England players) think,” Kohli told the media.
England captain Eoin Morgan, however, said that playing T20 World Cup at home will definitely make India favourites to win.
“India are the team to beat given that we are playing them away from home. I think they are a very good side to beat in India. Given that the World Cup is here, I do think they will go into the World Cup as favourites,” said Morgan, and added that the upcoming series will be a challenge and a great test for his team as India are a tough side to beat.
Morgan added that he is not seeing the upcoming series as a dress rehearsal for the WT20 scheduled to be held in October-November.
“Don’t necessarily see it as a dress rehearsal. It probably would have been, had it come on the eve of the World Cup. The perfect scenario for us is that we learn a huge amount from this tour and then have time to improve. So there is significant amount of time — seven months — to identify areas where we need to improve. We are the No. 1 in the world. There are different areas we need to significantly improve in order to be genuine contenders like playing spin in power-play overs,” added Morgan.