Virender Sehwag, who was part of India's World Cup 2011 winning team, has called Indian cricket team favorites for the upcoming World Cup in 2019. He was present at the launch of Boria Majumdar's book 'Eleven Gods and A Billion Indians' at the Fannatic Sports Museum.
"We are favorites to win the 2019 World Cup," Sehwag said. He added that India under Virat Kohli is also capable of winning overseas Test series despite a 2-1 defeat against South Africa. "This team has the capability to win Test series outside India. We could have won the first or second Test if we played one session well with the bat," he said.
Asked if this bowling attack is the best till date, Sehwag said, "In our days, we had (Javagal) Srinath, Zaheer (Khan), (Ajit) Agarkar and Ashish (Nehra). But they rarely got to play together and when they did we reached the final in the 2003 World Cup.
"This lot is really good. They can deliver in any conditions."
India will be touring to Australia soon this year and the Aussie side will miss Steve Smith and David Warner. But Sehwag said, there presence or absence doesn't matter. "It doesn't matter if they are there or not," he said.
Sehwag recalled the World T20 2007 win and called it more special as there were no expectations. "I think 2007 World Cup win is the best. We won there with a young team and a new captain. Nobody expected us to win," he recalled.
Sehwag is the mentor of IPL team Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), asking about their star performer Chris Gayle, who smashed a ton against Sunrisers Hyderabad on Thursday, he said, "Nobody is a greater entertainer than him," Sehwag said.
It was the former India opener who went for the West Indies batsman after no one bid for him. They got him at his base price of Rs 2 crore. "That was a strategy because we had to buy other players also. He would have cost more if he was taken up in the first phase," Sehwag explained.
"He was injured last season and it is difficult to score runs. Ask any cricketer, with a back injury, it's difficult to score runs and that's what he told us also. He missed a lot of games because he had pain in his back.
"Kohli dropped him also (from Royal Challengers Bangalore). I was expecting nobody will pick him, he's of my age. If we pick him, he's good guy to do the marketing. He's fabulous with all the marketing guys, everyone loves Chris Gayle. He fits in our group also.
"We bought him for Rs 2 crore and if he wins two games, I recovered my money. Still more games to go and if he wins two more time he wins four games. He's a big asset for KXIP now," Sehwag added.