India favourites to win T20 World Cup: Kumble

Anil Kumble tipped defending champions India to retain the title at the World T20 Championships saying they have the most balanced side.

updated: May 28, 2009 09:44 IST
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Anil Kumble on Thursday tipped defending champions India to retain the title at the World T20 Championships, starting in England on June 5, saying they have the most balanced side and the potential to emerge winners again.

"In my opinion India have the best balanced side. If they play to their potential they will lift the Cup again. It's a fantastic side and all the players in the team showed good form in the IPL. Playing at home England are strong while New Zealand and Australia also look good. It will be a most competitive tournament", the former India skipper said here.

Kumble, who launched the new Castrol Index as part of its cricket website, dismissed fears that the Indian players would be jaded after the tour of New Zealand followed immediately by the 35-day IPL in South Africa in the run-up to the World T20.

"It was known beforehand that there was just a week's gap between the two events. As an international player it's up to you to maintain your fitness," the retired leg spin ace said when queried whether the fatigue factor, touched upon by team coach Gary Kirsten during the IPL, could be a concern.

Kumble rated the Indian bowling attack as well rounded, strong in the pace department and well supported by spinners Harbhajan Singh and Pragyan Ojha.

"In all formats having various options is good. It's specially true about the shorter format of the game," he said.

Kumble, who took over the reins of the struggling Bangalore Royal Challengers in the IPL from Kevin Pietersen of England and brought about a dramatic turn-around in the team's fortunes by leading it to the final against Deccan Chargers, said he expected wicket conditions to be similar in England.

"The wickets in South Africa were on the slower side and I expect the wickets in England too to be similar, though perhaps helping the seamers a bit more," said India's highest wicket-taker in Test cricket.

He also brushed aside concerns over the indifferent form of Delhi Daredevils and India's opening duo of Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir in the IPL ahead of the T20 event in England.

"Viru was back in form in the semi-final with a fifty and I expect Gautam Gambhir always to do well in England," he said.

Admitting that it was perhaps a bit difficult for the International Cricket Council currently to carve out a window for the IPL, Kumble was optimistic this can be done once the ongoing Future Tours Programme of the world body runs out in 2012.

"IPL is a month and a half long and it may be difficult now. May be the ICC can look into it after the FTP ends in 2012 and work out an opening," he said.