World Cup 2019: India now favourites to win World Cup, says Karunaratne

Published: Jul 07, 2019, 12:33 IST | mid-day online desk

Sri Lanka have always been competitive in World Cups, from winning the 1996 edition to reaching the finals in the 2011 edition. But in the ongoing 2019 World Cup, Sri Lanka could win only three out of nine matches and finished sixth on the table.

World Cup 2019: India now favourites to win World Cup, says Karunaratne
Dimuth Karunaratne

Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne showered praises on the BCCI and India's domestic cricket structure for India's dominance in world cricket.  

Sri Lanka have always been competitive in World Cups, from winning the 1996 edition, to reaching the finals in the 2011 edition. But in the ongoing 2019 World Cup, Sri Lanka could win only three out of nine matches and finished sixth on the table.

Dimuth also said that India are the favourites to win the World Cup, out of the four semi-finalists.

"I think India has a better chance to win this World Cup, for me, from my point of view," Karunaratne told reporters after the loss.

"And I think on that particular day if the other team can do better than the India team, they're definitely going to win."

He praised India's domestic structure for ensuring a continuous flow of talent.

"I think India, they have a nice structure behind the India national team. I think they have the IPL (Indian Premier League)," said Karunaratne, who took over the captaincy just before the World Cup.

"They have good domestic teams and a good season. So those are the things they will keep building, keep producing the good players. So we expect the same from our administration."

Rohit Sharma's 94-ball 103, his fifth century of the ongoing event, set up the platform for India's comfortable win over the Islanders.

Karunaratne urged his batsmen to take valuable lessons from Rohit, especially the way the Indian opener converts his starts into big scores.

"Every time he (Rohit) gets a start, he keeps scoring big runs. That's what we want. He was fearless. And he knows how he's going to get a hundred and he's batting really well," the Lankan skipper said of Rohit.

"He knows which bowlers he wants to take charge against and which bowlers he wants to respect. Those are the little things he mastered really well. His plan is simple, he keeps batting and batting. That's what I want for the youngsters.

"It's an ideal candidate to do watch, the men learn something from him, just keep batting and batting. He was very hungry for the runs. And that's a huge thing for the youngsters," Karunaratne added.

Lasith Malinga, 35, played his last World Cup game on Saturday and Karunaratne said the they would hope to give the pacer a better send-off when he retires from ODIs.

"We all want to give him a nice farewell, but unfortunately we couldn't. But I think we tried really hard," he said.

"But Mali (Malinga) going to play another couple of games in Sri Lanka against Bangladesh. We'll try to give a nice send-off at that time."

Lasith Malinga did not have a memorable outing versus India, going for 82 runs and taking just 1 wicket in his quota of 10 overs.

With inputs from PTI

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