India can defend title, but not favourites: Kumble


New Delhi : Former skipper Anil Kumble says India can defend its World Twenty20 crown but they are certainly not the favourites due to the evolving format of the game.

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“India has an extremely talented side and they have it in them to retain the tournament but the concept of Twenty20 does not make any team a favourite just because they look strong on paper,” Kumble said in a statement Friday.

Kumble, who will be seen in the new role of a commentator in the World Twenty20 in England, said that since the concept is new, players are still learning the tricks of the game and that makes the tournament wide open for any team to win it.

The 38-year-old Bangalorean also warned India of complacency and said that everybody has to contribute if they want to retain the title.

“T20 is still a new concept, an evolving game, where every player is learning match by match. So anything is possible but surely India will have to guard against any form of complacency and each and every individual will have to contribute. Australia and South Africa among others will also pose a strong challenge to India at the tourney,” he said.

India are in Group D in the tournament with Bangladesh and Ireland. They will open their campaign against Bangladesh Saturday at Trent Bridge and will than face Ireland in their last group match at the same venue Wednesday.