Virat Kohli reckons the ICC World T20 tourney in March-April will not throw up a home advantage since a lot of international players are familiar with Indian conditions thanks to the IPL
While the last two 50-over ICC World Cups witnessed winners from the host country, the trend is yet to be set in the ICC World T20.
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Virat Kohli holds the ICC World Twenty20 trophy at a city hotel yesterday. Pic/AFP
The last five editions, starting from 2007, have witnessed different winners with no champions winning it on home soil.
In 2011 World Cup, Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men became the first team to win at home. Australia replicated it earlier this year by beating New Zealand at Melbourne.
Dhoni’s men in 2011 made most of the home advantage, but will they again emerge triumphant on home turf in 2016? Although ICC’s chief executive David Richardson picked India as one of the favourites to lift the World T20 starting in March next year, India’s Test skipper Virat Kohli ruled out any ‘home advantage’ for the Men in Blue. “I don’t think there is a big advantage of playing at home anymore, especially with so many international stars playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) for the last eight to nine years,” Kohli said at the announcement of the World T20 schedule and unveiling of the men’s and women’s trophies at a city hotel yesterday.
India’s loss in the last World T20 final to Sri Lanka at Dhaka in 2014 still hurts. “We were sad to not cross the finish line. We would like to do it this time. We felt good for Sri Lanka because two legends of the game finally won a World title in their time, but as a team we were sad. I think keeping things simple is going to be crucial in World T20,” said Kohli.
Ajinkya Rahane though rated Team India having a better chance of winning the World T20 trophy than other teams. “We have a better chance than everyone else. We know the home conditions well. The challenge is to do well in front of the home crowd,” said the Mumbai batsman. India opener Shikhar Dhawan said momentum will play a big role in teams finishing on the winning side.