Michael Atherton, following India’s 3-2 series win over England, admitted that England and West Indies might be good but India surely would be favourites to lift the WT20. He also added that India’s scary depth, due to the Indian Premier League, would tilt the competition in their favour in October.
India were on the verge of defeat when Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes were assaulting the Indian spinners all over the park. However, a twin wicket over from Shardul Thakur not only brought India back in the fourth T20I but also showed India the way against English batsmen in the next T20I. From being 2-1 down, India recovered brilliantly to oust the visitors 3-2 to win the series and make a sweeping statement.
Former English cricketer and now commentator Michael Atherton admitted that while England and West Indies are formidable T20I units, India should be the favourites to lift the World T20 at home.
"England are a very good side and the West Indies and other sides are dangerous as well — but if you price it up, you would say India are the favourites," Atherton told Sky Sports, reported TOI.
Atherton also praised India’s strength in depth, admitting that IPL has indeed given them a boost - in terms of a talent pool. He noted that despite not having three main bowlers, possibly in reference to Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja, India completed an easy win in the fifth T20I and the series.
"They probably have more strength in depth because of the IPL and the T20 cricket they play and the fact that they have just beaten England without probably three main bowlers," Atherton said on Sky Sports.
In fact, ahead of the series, both skippers were wary of the threat posed by each other, with Eoin Morgan crediting the Indian unit while Kohli credited the English one. Atherton, putting together all these factors, insisted that India are the ‘team’ to beat in the competition.
"Put all those things together, and the fact that they are playing at home, they are the team to beat."