Cricket expert Ayaz Memon speaks to India Head Coach Ravi Shastri as a preview to the upcoming ICC World Cup 2019.
AM: I just want to focus on the teams that are playing in the World Cup. For instance, the West Indies. Now everybody says they could be the X-factor and till about three months back, if you go by rankings, they seemed pretty much at the bottom end. And they have come back strongly. Is that something that you are conscious about and looking at what's going to happen?
RS: When they were in India I said we might have beaten them but we had a tough series and they played some excellent cricket. And I said that at the given time, there was no Gayle, there was no Russell in that side. I said watch out for this side, they have serious talent and I was very happy about that. Because you have played in the glory days of West Indies against some of the best players to have played the game and then the country has gone through some real debacles. To come back now and you can see the two World Cups in the T20 format. They have got some terrific talent in the One-Day game. The power-hitting there is something that no team comes close. When it comes to the sheer ability to hit sixes, they are way up the ladder there.
AM: Approaching the World Cup even Australia has suddenly emerged as a very strong team they went through a roller coaster ride. Some of the key players were terribly out of form and of course two of them were banned for a year. They are the defending champions and looking fairly confident?
RS: You would expect that from Australia. They have won more World Cups than any other team in the last 25 years. There is never an Australian team which is not competitive. And now they have got all their players back and they seem to be in pretty good form but then again in the World Cup it is that given day. Which team reacts better to pressure and to situations. Australia is good, we know other teams are good, we know we are good too.