Former India skipper and World Cup winner Krishnamachri Srikkanth believes Virat Kohli and his men have started to forge a fearsome reputation that demoralises opponents before the game even begins.
Srikkanth’s comments came after India crushed arch-rivals Pakistan by 89 runs (DLS) in a 2019 ICC World Cup clash at Manchester on Sunday. It extended India’s World Cup record against Pakistan to seven wins out of seven while preserving their unbeaten campaign so far in the 2019 edition.
Srikkanth has even gone on to compare the Indian team to the mighty Windies sides of the 1970s which captured the first two editions of the World Cup.
“It is a little like England, at the moment everything seems to be going right (for India) and the fans should be very happy,” Srikkanth was quoted as saying by AFP.
“This is starting to feel a little like the West Indian teams of the 1970s, where the opposition would start the game with a psychological disadvantage.
“Teams are worried about facing India and how they will cope with them, which immediately puts them on the back foot.”
While Rohit Sharma’s ton laid the foundation for India’s big win on Sunday, Srikkanth pointed to KL Rahul’s contributions as a crucially important factor.
With Shikhar Dhawan out for up to three weeks with a fractured thumb, Rahul was promoted to open the innings with Rohit and the right-hander chipped in with a 57-run knock.
“Everyone knows how good a batsman Rohit Sharma is but for me the more important innings against Pakistan was from KL Rahul,” he said.
“Going into the game, the biggest question mark about this India team was how they would cope without Shikhar Dhawan.
“The fact the top three all got runs, that (Rohit) Sharma and Rahul put on more than a hundred for the first wicket and that Virat Kohli got more runs, is huge for India going forward in the tournament.”
India now stand behind just Australia and New Zealand in the 2019 World Cup standings with three wins and a no-result from their four games. They next face tournament minnows Afghanistan at Southampton on June 22.
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