Legendary Indian National Cricket Team player Sachin Tendulkar has hailed the Virat Kohli-led side saying that they are competitive in any parts of the world and on any surface.
Earlier today, India produced an all-round effort to beat New Zealand by 35 runs at Wellington. As a result, they won the five-match series by a 4-1 margin – their first series win in New Zealand since 2009. Batting first, a crucial stand from Ambati Rayudu and Vijay Shankar for the fifth wickets and a late cameo from Hardik Pandya kept them in the business as they posted 252 runs on the board. Rayudu chipped in with 90 runs while Pandya added 45 off just 22 deliveries including five massive sixes.
Meanwhile, in reply, India bowlers kept picking wickets at regular intervals to keep India in the hunt. Yuzvendra Chahal picked three while Mohammed Shami and Pandya picked two each to seal the game in India’s favour. The men in blues have performed outstandingly in the last one year winning three bilateral overseas ODI series.
Sachin Tendulkar earlier today, in an interview with PTI, pitted the men in blues as the potential winners for the showpiece event. He also noted that Virat Kohli & Co are competitive everywhere.
“I have gone on record saying that we have a perfect balance in the team where we will be competitive in any part of the world or on any surface,” Tendulkar told PTI in an interview on Sunday. “As far as our chances are concerned, I will not hesitate in saying that we are the favourites. It’s all about getting the early momentum. My judgement on the toughest contenders would be England, while New Zealand would be the dark horse,” he added.
New Zealand will bounce back
New Zealand suffered a massive blow ahead of the ICC World Cup with their heavy defeats against India. However, Sachin Tendulkar believes they are a decent side and will come back strong in the showpiece event in England.
“I know New Zealand have struggled in this series but it’s a good unit, one needs to be on their toes,” he said.
The suspended duo of Steve Smith and David Warner will be back for Australia on March 29, and Australia will be as dangerous as any other team. Sachin Tendulkar will competitive side with all their star players returning to the team.
“I think Australia at full strength will be a formidable side. With Smith and David Warner back in the team and their other bowlers coming back into the ODI squad, it will be a competitive side,” concluded Tendulkar.