Team India will be the last team to open their ICC World Cup 2019 when they kick off their campaign against South Africa in Southampton on Wednesday. The 2015 World Cup semifinalists are raring to go and hope to bring the trophy that they won in 2011 back home.
“I am someone who thinks about every game. I have thought about lifting the World Cup as well. I want to be the guy who makes sure India gets there,” all-rounder Hardik Pandya told the ICC ahead of their first match of the World Cup.
“There is no pressure because only 1.5 million people are expecting us to win!” Pandya said with a big laugh.
"Even in the most intense moments, we're able to have fun" – Virat Kohli on what makes India tick.How will they fare in #CWC19? pic.twitter.com/FqegphgUXJ— Cricket World Cup (@cricketworldcup) June 5, 2019
"Even in the most intense moments, we're able to have fun" – Virat Kohli on what makes India tick.How will they fare in #CWC19? pic.twitter.com/FqegphgUXJ
India, along with hosts England, are one of the two favourites for the World Cup title but skipper Virat Kohli believes the confidence comes from the commitment and dedication of every player in the Indian squad.
“There is good reason why we are one of the best sides in international cricket — it requires commitment and dedication from every player. When we look around the room there is lot of trust and belief that we can achieve something special when we go out to play,” Kohli said about the Indian team.
India’s Jasprit Bumrah is one of the premier pace bowlers in the world. The Mumbai Indians paceman believes the confidence from winning on ‘away’ tours last year is paying dividends for the team.
“We have a lot of belief because for 2-3 years we have been playing together. We know each other and we have been playing well, have done a lot of away tours last year and have gained a lot of confidence,” Bumrah said.
“There is always pressure. When I came into the side I felt a lot of pressure, but then you find a way. I don’t think about those pressures now, I always look what I have to do, if you have done your preparation and processes right, everything else should fall in place,” he added.
Like Bumrah, Pandya also said that Team India members are like family now. “My teammates are my brothers. This is one team where everyone is close to each other, I can joke around with anyone. I have a fantastic relation with everyone.
“Indian crowd here won’t make us feel like we are playing in England. That would be nice actually. Even if something goes wrong in a couple of games, we still have 7 or 8 games to go to make up for it,” Pandya said about the crowd support in England.
Skipper Kohli is someone who likes to remain in control even in tough situations on the field.
“In the most intense moments we have been able to find moments of fun, which is key to success in any team sports,” Kohli felt.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who scored fine half-century in the warm-up game against New Zealand, feels nervousness is what will fire the Indian players to give their 100 percent.
“Back home in India people are very excited, they want us to win no matter what. You can’t perform well if there is no pressure or nervousness. When there is pressure, then only your 100 per cent will come out. We are not putting extra pressure on ourselves, we’ll go out there and enjoy,” Jadeja said.