India favourites to win World Cup: Ross Taylor

Dharamsala, (UNI) Former New Zealand Captain Ross Taylor on Saturday said India are favourites to win the ICC Men’s World Cup no matter what happens in Dharamshala tomorrow.

“India in their home conditions are a different beast and they have started unsurprisingly strongly – I see them as favourites to win the competition at this stage, no matter what happens in Dharamshala tomorrow,” he wrote in a column published in ICC portal.

“Jasprit Bumrah has led the attack brilliantly, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravi Jadeja are bowling really nicely and their top three have been fantastic for a long time.

“You can’t expect your top three to score runs all the time but they also now seem to have found a nice combination at four and five with Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul. New Zealand will need early wickets to put that middle order under pressure,” he added.

However, Taylor reminded that New Zealand has had a strong recent record against India, having not lost this fixture at an ICC event for 20 years.

“I am not sure quite what explains why New Zealand keep beating India at these tournaments but if you talk to a lot of Indian supporters, New Zealand are their second favourite team – maybe that has something to do with it, who knows?

“Four years ago, we played them in the semi-final in Manchester and it was an iconic occasion. There was the Martin Guptill run out of MS Dhoni, the game going over two days because of the rain and ultimately, New Zealand coming out on top.

“Hopefully there will be a similar result tomorrow – top of the table at the halfway stage would be a great place to be,” he said.

On New Zealand’s performance in the World Cup so far, Taylor said, “It is fantastic to be here in time for what is set to be a great match between the two remaining unbeaten teams.

“Of course, the fact New Zealand are one of them is particularly pleasing and I have been really impressed with how they have gone about it so far. They have played fantastically well.

“The first game would have come as a bit of a surprise to some – not necessarily beating England, but the manner in which they did so.

“They were put under pressure for 5-10 overs against Afghanistan but other than that, they have played some very consistent and dominant cricket.”

On Rachin Ravindra’s exploits in the tournament, Taylor said he took his chances and looks set to be a key part of the New Zealand side not only in this tournament, but also in the years to come.

“Everyone has stood up at different stages. A lot has been made of the injuries to Tim Southee and Kane Williamson but the people who have come in have stepped up, particularly Will Young and Rachin Ravindra.

“If you would have said two or three weeks before the tournament that Rachin would have been in the starting line-up, I don’t think anyone would have picked that.

“He pushed himself in there with his performances in the warm-up games and even then, I don’t think people thought he would have batted as high up the order as he has.

“But he’s taken his chance and he looks set to be a key part of the New Zealand side not only in this tournament, but also in the years to come,” he said.

Taylor also lauded Tom Latham’s captaincy and the NZ team for playing well without Kane Williamson.

“Tom Latham has stepped up too and shown fantastic leadership. Kane is obviously a big part of the team but they have played well without him for a while through this year and they know they can win without him, which is important.

“Getting off to a good start in the competition has been particularly crucial because New Zealand have a tough streak of games coming up, beginning with India on Sunday,” he said.

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