Legendary West Indies batsman Alvin Kallicharran has seen Indian cricket’s remarkable rise in international cricket from the close quarters. The former West Indies batsman had seen India struggle even to challenge the elites when he was at his prime. But things changed soon and it would not be entirely wrong to say that the tables have completely turned now. While West Indies have struggled to do well in Tests and ODIs in the last one decade or so, India have become a force to reckon with.
India are currently the number one Test side in the world and number two in ODIs as well as T20Is. Unsurprisingly, Kallicharran has rated India as one of the favourites for the ICC World Cup 2019 while also stating just how the team was a few decades ago. He also praised the combination between skipper Virat Kohli and his predecessor MS Dhoni.
“Previously, they went on tours with just hope. Now they travel with the definite idea of winning. They are balanced, have the batting, the pace bowling and some good wrist spinners who can clean out sides,” Alvin Kallicharran told Sportstar.
“You have Kohli as the general and M.S. Dhoni as the lieutenant general. That’s a terrific combination,” he added.
Kallicharran further heaped praise on Kohli’s batting, stating that the India skipper knows how to build an innings.
“He knows how to construct an innings. He can find the gaps, the hallmark of a good player, and manipulate the field. Kohli plays a lot of ground shots, takes the team home,” Kallicharran said.
He the went on to pick defending champions Australia, hosts England and West Indies as the other favourites.
“Australia will be bolstered by the return of David Warner and Steve Smith. England will be playing at home and the West Indies, if they pick the right team, has a chance.”
“But in England a lot would depend on the conditions on that particular day. If there is a cloud cover in the morning and sunshine in the afternoon, the team batting first will suffer. The weather will be an evener,” Alvin Kallicharran said.
The much-awaited World Cup will get underway on May 30 with hosts England taking on South Africa in the tournament-opener. India, on the other hand, will open their campaign on June 5 against South Africa while West Indies will take on Pakistan on May 31 in their first game.