Despite the pessimism over India’s prospects at the cricket’s 50-over showpiece event, former coach Gary Kirsten feels the side has a good chance to defend the title as it has “learnt how to win World Cups”.
“I think there is a lot of pessimism around their opportunities but they have learnt how to win World Cups, so they know how to do it. This World Cup boils down to three games, its that simple — quarters, semis and finals”, he said.
“They have been there, so they know how to manage that space. And I think they have a good chance,” Kirsten told PTI in an exclusive interview on the sidelines of the ‘Royal Stag Barrel Select Perfect Strokes’ event, here.
Kirsten, who coached India between 2008-11 and was carried on the shoulders of Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan and Virat Kohli when India won the Cup at Wankhede four years back, feels that the Men in Blue should be wary of arch-rivals Pakistan in their opening encounter in Adelaide on Sunday.
“Pakistan have these players who you dont know about but they do something. You look at their team sheet and say whose that and whose that and next thing is that he is doing something. So I dont think you can ever write off a Pakistan team. I think it will be very dangerous to do that,” said the former South African cricketer.
On the presence of pressure in the high-voltage contest between the arch-rivals, Kirsten believes that both teams will feel the heat of their opening game.
“Its their first game of the World Cup, so they are both going to be under pressure. Everyone wants to win their first game to take the pressure off a little bit. And obviously because its such a long and great rivalries of sport, the teams are going to feel the heat thats for sure,” said Kirsten.