Former Windies skipper warns others about India at T20 World Cup

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Team India (PC : Zee Business)

New Delhi: Two-time T20 World Cup-winning West Indies captain Darren Sammy has called India the ‘team to beat’ in the upcoming mega extravaganza in the UAE and Oman from September. The allrounder felt every team will have to go through the Men in Blue if they want to make progress.

“India are the team to beat. We have heard Dinesh Karthik talk about it – the experience, their T20 players come into the international cricket with, whether it is from India’s domestic T20 cricket or the IPL, you see all the countries go there and get the experience,”  Sammy said.

The tournament starts on October 17 in Oman with Round 1 where eight teams fight for the four spots to make it to Super 12 stage. The top two teams from each of the two Round 1 groups advance. Hosts Oman kick-off the campaign against Papua New Guinea while Bangladesh also play Scotland on the same day.

Sammy further recalled a story from 2016 when West Indies travelled to India for the T20 World Cup. He admitted that team management had understood that in order to win the tournament, they needed to do well against India.

“Apart from the World Cup, I think this is, if not, the most pressure situation (tournament), where the players will be under and India has that formula. In 2016, when we left our homes, me, the coach and all the guys said in order to win this tournament, you will have  to go through India. Whatever stage it is, you will have to go through India, whether it is the final, the semi-final,” he added.

The 2021 T20 World Cup was stated to be played in India but had to be shifted due to the COVID-19 situation. Sammy reckoned that India will still have the edge despite the tournament got shifted because of the 2021 IPL’s second phase, a month prior.

“Yes, the tournament has shifted to the UAE, but don’t forget, before that, all the Indian players would have completed the IPL and got used to these conditions,” he said. “It is not surprising to me that the Indian cricket board chose this l place, at this time, to complete the IPL and it will also benefit the other teams.

“But you will have to go through India in any tournament. As you have seen in the last few ICC tournaments, whether it is the Test Championship or ODI, you will have to go through India in order to win,” he added.

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