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India are favourites at World Twenty20: Sehwag

Last updated on: March 01, 2016 19:40 IST

Indian players celebrates a wicket

IMAGE: Indian players celebrates a dismissal. Photograph: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

India have the perfect mix of world class performers and that makes them hot favourites at the upcoming World Twenty20, says Virender Sehwag.

The former India opener, who bid adieu to international cricket recently, said the hosts have a strong batting line-up and lethal attack. 

"We have batsmen like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra and spin attack of (Ravindra) Jadeja and (Ravichandran) Ashwin. I think India are the favourites for the competition," Sehwag added. 

He was all praise for India's opening combination of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.

"They have become a good pair and if they stay there for the first seven or eight overs, nobody can stop India."

Shikhar Dhawan, Ashish Nehra and Pawan Negi interact with the media

IMAGE: Shikhar Dhawan, Ashish Nehra and Pawan Negi interact with the media. Photograph: PTI

Sehwag also picked comeback pacer Nehra for special praise, saying he has been giving the team the much-needed early breakthroughs.

"After his (Nehra's) performance in the last IPL, he has been included in the national team and he has been doing better, especially taking wickets in early overs. I think he will play well, like he did it along with Zaheer Khan in the 2011 World Cup," he said.

Sehwag, though, warned India of tough competition from Australia, South Africa, West Indies, England and Pakistan. 

"At present Pakistan has the best pace attack, especially Mohammad Aamir who bowled well," he said, adding India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will have the advantage of exploiting the home conditions.

MS Dhoni, captain of India, talks to Virender Sehwag during a nets session

IMAGE: Mahendra Singh Dhoni with Virender Sehwag during a nets session. Photograph: Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

Talking about the India-Pakistan match, the fate of which now hangs in balance due to the Himachal Pradesh government's reluctance to stage it, Sehwag expressed optimism that it will be held. 

"It is up to the ICC and BCCI how they react, but I am sure match will take place, if not in Dharamsala then at some other place," Sehwag said, during the launch ceremony of 92.7 Big Cricket Headquarter' where, he, as an expert, will engage listeners with match analysis and expert opinion during the World Twenty20. 

"I am becoming a cricket expert. Whatever happens on the ground will be told to the listeners. We will also try to pull the leg of the players," the ace cricketer added.

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