Andy Flower, Head coach of England Lions and the former Zimbabwe captain, on Thursday (January 17) picked India as a serious contender to win the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.
While explaining his point, Flower said that the Virat Kohli-led India Cricket Team is currently playing aggressive cricket and their record in the mega ICC event makes the Men in Blue a strong contender for the showpiece event to be played in England from May 30.
The Zimbabwean great further went on to claim that India’s consistency, confidence, and fan following also makes Kohli’s team a strong favorite to win the prestigious title in England.
Flower told Sportstar on Thursday, “Without a doubt, they (India) are serious contenders. They play good aggressive cricket and they will have a good following in the World Cup. It may be held in England. But we know their matches will have a lot of Indian supporters and they won’t feel like being away from home. And India has a good record playing in tournaments in the past.”
The English coach also believes that the current India set-up is much more confident and aggressive than the past teams and to which, he credited Indian Premier League, saying the IPL has given Indian cricket a lot of confidence and is responsible for their growth and development.
He added, “There are a couple of differences. Firstly Indian cricket is generally more confident now. Part of the confidence has come from the growth of India as a nation and as global economy. Secondly, the IPL has given Indian cricket a lot of confidence. It has given some of the younger players a lot of confidence because they [play] in front of big crowds and with and against some of the best international players and it breaks down the barriers of myth that exist in cricket scene.”
Meanwhile, Andy also lauded Kohli’s leadership, saying the Indian skipper has given a lot of confidence and aggression to the side, adding “I think Kohli as a leader has given them lot of confidence and aggression in the right sort of way which is great. I also think that because of increased resources that are available to Indian cricket you see now fitter and stronger Indian teams coming into the international scene now.”
Flower signed off by saying, “That is part of the reason why its fast bowling stocks have been good as ever it has been or if not better. Those fast bowlers are fit and stronger and they have more stamina now. They can hold their spells longer and they are a better bowling unit now. I think for all those reasons Indian cricket is now in a good space.”
(With Sportstar Inputs)