India, Pak favourites to win T20 WC: Warne
Melbourne: Australian spin legend Shane Warne has tipped India and Pakistan as the favourites to win the third-edition of the Twenty20 World Cup starting in West Indies.
"India because their players play so much in the IPL. And Pakistan because the format suits them. But Australia is playing more of it and understanding the game a lot better," Warne said when asked which team would be his favourite.
"MS Dhoni is a very good captain but Virender Sehwag is a massive loss with his shoulder problem. Shahid Afridi is a good captain and a very good cricketer but can be hit and miss. They will be in the mix," Warne said.
Dhoni also figured in Warne`s list of best five Twenty20 cricketers, which also had Shane Watson, Kevin Pietersen, Lasith Malinga, Kieron Pollard and a fit Sehwag.
Warne said captaincy and tactics will play a big role and if Michael Clarke can raise to the occasion, Australia too will have a chance to win the Twenty20 World Cup.
"Yes (Australia can win), because there is no obvious standout team and the nature of Twenty20 cricket is that most teams will have a chance. It will probably come down to captaincy and tactics," Warne said.
"We have spoken a lot about what is required in Twenty20 and Michael has captained very well recently. He has to put his stamp on the team," he added.
Warne also felt Clarke needs to get his combination right and find out the strength of his team.
"You have to identify your strengths as a team. For instance, at the Rajasthan Royals, we have never lost after batting first and making 145 or more. So Michael has to get his batting order right and decide if we are a bat first or bowl first team. Do we have the batting?”
"With David Warner and Shane Watson opening, Clarke at three, Cameron White, Mike and David Hussey, plus Tim Paine as a floater, then Mitchell Johnson and Steven Smith at seven and eight, that sounds all right to me," he observed.
The Australian also had a recipe to survive for all the three formats of the game.
"One-dayers should be like the Olympics, played just at the World Cup every four years. A World Cup for Twenty20 every two years and a Test championship once a year with a final between the two top-ranked teams," Warne said.