With the IPL now in the background, teams are planning ahead and looking at the World Cup. Former India captain Sourav Ganguly believes that while India are a balanced side, Pakistan, with their record in England and in ICC tournaments, always remain a threat and will be one of the favourites.
"Pakistan's record in world tournaments in England is remarkable. They won the Champions Trophy two years ago, they won the 2009 World T20 in England," Ganguly was quoted as saying by PTI.
Pakistan are currently involved in an ODI series against England and have been performing quite well, despite results not going in their favour and Ganguly cited this as an example.
"Pakistan always play well in England. You see the last game (2nd ODI) in England. England got 374 and Pakistan just lost by 12 runs. They also beat England in England in Test matches there because of their bowling lineup," he added.
'Do not believe in past records'
However, he was quick to add that it should not impede the Indian team in any way and with the depth present in the current side, they will be a hard team to beat. Dada also said that both sides need to be at their best when they take on each other, as past records do not count for anything in an India-Pakistan fixture.
"I don't believe in records. Both of them will have to play well on that particular day. India will be a very good side. They will be very hard to beat. A team which has the likes of Kohli, Rohit, Shikhar Dhawan can't be weak," the former skipper said.
As far as Virat Kohli is concerned, Ganguly believes that his rather poor performance in the IPL will have no bearing on how he performs and leads India in the World Cup as his record in ODIs is nothing short of brilliant. He also said that Kohli has Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni to support him, and that will be a huge asset.
"Don't compare Virat Kohli's IPL captaincy record with that of India. His captaincy records for India is very good actually. He's got MS Dhoni in his team as the vice-captain. So he's well supported," the captain of the Indian side that finished runners-up in the 2003 World Cup said.
Virat Kohli's team is viewed as one of the favourites leading into the World Cup and while this has its own pressure, Ganguly thinks it will bring the best out of the Indian side.
"It's good that India is under pressure, every other team in the World Cup will be under pressure. You don't want to turn up like a Nepal or an Ireland where the entire world thinks that you're not going to win," he opined.
Speaking about the format, the current CAB president believes that since every side will play each other once, it promises to be an interesting World Cup and the top four sides need to be really good to make it to the knockout stage.