India will win ICC T20 World Cup 2012, says Srikkanth
Outgoing chief cricket selector Krish Srikkanth on Monday predicted an Indian triumph in the World T20, starting in Sri Lanka on September 18.
"In eight days' time the ICC T20 World Cup 2012 is starting. The Indian team is one of the strongest on paper. To pick the eleven itself is going to be difficult for the team management. It will be difficult to decide whom to drop.
"This team has the potential to win the T20 World Cup. I am pretty confident. The positive energy and prayers of the one billion Indian people will come strongly again like in the 2011 World Cup to give energy to the Indian cricketers to help them win. I would be chairman when the tournament starts but would be ex-chairman when India win," he said.
Srikkanth and three co-selectors - Surendra Bhave, Raja Venkat and Narendra Hirwani - will step down from their posts after completing their term at the Cricket Board's AGM on September 27.
Only Mohinder Amarnath, the fifth member of the selection panel, has a chance to continue if he is re-appointed for another year by the Board's general body.
Srikkanth, here to perform his final job as chief selector by choosing the Irani Cup team and India 'A' and 'B'squads for the N K P Salve Challenger Series, said the 2011 World Cup triumph by Mahendra Singh Dhoni's team was easily the high point of the outgoing panel's tenure.
"We all had a dream and a goal when we took over (as members of) the selection committee... can we win the 2011 World Cup? We went getting prepared for the World Cup.
"The Indian team played brilliantly and we could win the World Cup which, I would say, was the high point of this particular selection committee... in the sense that we could win the World Cup after 28 years," the former India opener said.
Srikkanth, a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning squad led by Kapil Dev, said personally it was more satisfying for him when the Dhoni-led team lifted cricket's showpiece trophy.
"For me personally it was a little bit more of a satisfaction because I was part of the (1983) World Cup winning team and I am chairman of the selection committee which picked the 2011 team," Srikkanth said.
"I should thank my co-selectors in the first three years - Raja Venkat, Surendra Bhave Hirwani and Yashpal Sharma - for their great cooperation. Now I have the opportunity this year of having me alongside a great cricketer like Jimmy Amarnath whose inputs have been valuable."
The former India captain was also confident that the country would attain the no. 1 ranking in all forms of the game in a short period of time, but cautioned that patience was required for this to happen.
"The other high point was that for 20 long months India was no. 1 in Tests and for a few months no. 1 in one-day cricket. Cricket is a game of ups and downs. We had some tough time in Australia and England and now we are rebuilding. We have had greats like Anil Kumble, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman and Sourav Ganguly retiring during this committee's tenure.
"It's not going to be easy to replace them but I am sure Indian cricket has got enough talent to start partially and then hope completely (to replace them). It's not easy to fill their shoes and it's a process. Rebuilding a side does not happen overnight. All of us will have to be patient.
"We have started that already with people like Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara who are doing the job very well. Like them there are so many youngsters. You saw R Ashwin coming in and bowling and taking the Man of the Series award. You saw Umesh Yadav coming in as a medium pacer."
"India would be back in no. 1 slot in all forms shortly. I can assure you that much as there is enough talent. The biggest advantage in Indian cricket is BCCI's cricket structure is so excellent... domestic format, number of matches, limited overs cricket, T20 cricket, four-day cricket.
"It gives tremendous opportunity for the youngsters to showcase the talent and go up the ladder. The future committee will continue the process of rebuilding," he said.