"Force To Reckon With": Ex England Pacer To NDTV On India's T20 World Cup Chances
In an interview with NDTV on the sidelines of Legends League Cricket, former England pacer Ryan Sidebottom opened up on the form of Virat Kohli, the chances of India and England at the T20 World Cup, and the resurgence of England's Test team.
The 2022 T20 World Cup is just around the corner as the tournament gets underway on October 16 in Australia. Rohit Sharma-led Team India would open their campaign on October 23 against arch-rivals Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The management right now is sweating over the fitness of lead pacer Jasprit Bumrah and if reports are to be believed by, it does not look promising in terms of his availability for the marquee event.
Former England pacer Ryan Sidebottom spoke to NDTV earlier this week on the sidelines of Legends League Cricket, where he opened up on the chances of India and England at the T20 World Cup.
"I think India and England are going to be up there come the World Cup," Sidebottom told NDTV.
"It is great to see Virat Kohli back in the runs, he looks very dangerous," he went on to say.
"If India get the bowling together, they will be a force to reckon with," he said.
"England are in good form, so those two teams, you would say, are right up there. Australia, Sri Lanka have just won the Asia Cup. All teams are in decent form, so I think it would be a really good and entertaining World Cup," said Sidebottom about other teams' chances.
Virat Kohli, who now has 71 international centuries, went through a lean run in terms of registering the three-figure mark. Before breaking the dry spell during the Asia Cup clash against Afghanistan, Kohli had last scored a ton in November 2019 against Bangladesh in a day-night Test. Before the Asia Cup, Kohli had taken a break for the series against West Indies and Zimbabwe.
"Look, you are always under pressure and scrutiny all the time as a cricketer. I think the break would have done Virat a world of good. He is back now, switched on. Look, everybody gets out of form at some stage. He is a world-class player, an icon of the game. Form is temporary, class is permanent. So, it is great to see Virat Kohli playing because everybody wants to see him scoring runs," said Sidebottom.
It was only fair to ask Sidebottom a question on England's current Test team as well. Under Ben Stokes's captaincy and the coaching of Brendon McCullum, England registered six wins in seven Test matches.
Talking about their revival in Test cricket, Sidebottom said: "I think at the moment, they are still growing and trying to get better. What I like about what Ben Stokes and Brendon McCullum have brought to the team, is no fear of failure. They have backed the players and they have backed them to go out there and enjoy the cricket. When you do that, the team improves and grows."
"I think they have done really well, there are still a lot of areas, the batting can improve most certainly. The bowling has been good. England are okay with it, they are playing some good cricket," he added.