Kapil Dev certain India will win ICC World Twenty20
Last Updated: 15/03/16 10:51am
Kapil Dev believes no team has looked more certain of winning a title than India at this year's World Twenty20.
The hosts and hot favourites begin their quest to become the first team to win the tournament twice as they get the group stages under way against bogey team New Zealand, live on Sky Sports 2 on Tuesday from 1pm.
While MS Dhoni's men are trying to keep their feet on the ground, a legend of the game in India has fuelled a growing mood that no one can stop a side that has won 10 of its past 11 T20 internationals.
It is the first time that India has hosted the world championship of cricket's newest format, a tournament in which Dhoni led them to victory in the inaugural event in South Africa nine years ago.
Dev, the hero of India's 1983 50-over World Cup triumph, believes that India "are the overwhelming favourites" to win the T20 trophy again, this time in their own backyard.
"India have the strongest set of players, and never has any team looked so formidable and sure of winning the title as they do at this tournament," he said.
India have the strongest set of players, and never has any team looked so formidable and sure of winning the title as they do at this tournament.
But wary of India's woeful track record against the Black Caps in the tournament, star batsman Virat Kohli says the hosts cannot afford to be complacent.
India have lost four out of their five previous World T20 encounters against New Zealand, while the other match was rained off.
"What we've learned from playing in big tournaments in the past is that we have to stay as calm as possible and focus on the skills that need to be executed on the field," Kohli said in a pre-match press conference.
New Zealand, beaten finalists in last year's 50-over World Cup, are determined to prove they can be competitive after the recent retirement of their talismanic skipper Brendon McCullum.
The Black Caps will also want to put on a performance to make the late Martin Crowe proud after the recent death of their country's greatest batsman, and will wear black armbands in tribute.
"Some blokes in the side, they were very close to Martin and I guess they will deal it in their own way throughout the tournament and throughout the cricket that is coming up," said new captain Kane Williamson.
"He was a big part of their lives as a cricketer and as a person."
Watch India v New Zealand live on Sky Sports 2 HD from 1pm on Tuesday.