Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

Former Australia great Ricky Ponting discussed Team India’s prospects for victory in the World Cup and believes that Men in Blue will be an “extremely hard” side to beat given their ability to hold up under extreme pressure well. India made a strong start to their ICC World Cup 2023 campaign, registering convincing victories against Australia, Afghanistan and arch-rival Pakistan. The Men in Blue are searching for a third Cricket World Cup crown after their title victories in 1983 and 2011.

“I said from the start that I think they’re going to be the team to beat. They’ve got a very talented team. They’ve got all bases covered with their fast bowling, their spin and their top-order, middle-order batting,” Ponting told the ICC.

“They’re going to be extremely hard to beat. But we’ll see how they hold up under extreme pressure as well,” Ponting said.

In their match against arch-rivals Pakistan, India registered an enormous seven-wicket victory, claiming a dominant triumph with 117 balls to spare in Ahmedabad.

Pakistan lost eight wickets for 36 runs as they went from 155/2 to 191 all out before Rohit Sharma’s magnificent 86 helped his team win.

Five Indian bowlers took two wickets each, with Jasprit Bumrah and Kuldeep Yadav triggering the collapse with brilliant spells after Mohammed Siraj had taken the crucial wicket of Babar Azam.

India skipper Rohit Sharma spoke about the need to move forward, maintain the balance not get “too excited” as the World Cup campaign is not a short affair.

“I will keep my fingers crossed. We don’t want to get too excited and also not get too low as well. It is a long tournament, nine league games and then the semis and final. Just have to keep the balance and go forward. I have said it before, for us it was an opposition [Pakistan] we wanted to play. Every opposition we come against they can beat you. We have to be good on that particular day. The past and future does not matter,” Rohit said in the post-match presentation.

After registering three back-to-back victories in their World Cup campaign, the Men in Blue will face Bangladesh on Thursday at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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