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T20 World Cup 2021 | ‘Terrific’ India favourites to win T20 World Cup, states Steve Smith

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India eased past Australia by nine-wickets in their second warm-up match

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T20 World Cup 2021 | ‘Terrific’ India favourites to win T20 World Cup, states Steve Smith

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SportsCafe Desk

10/21/2021

Steve Smith marked India as favourites to win the T20 World Cup 2021, after Virat Kohli’s men registered a nine-wicket win over Australia in their second warm-up match on Wednesday. Smith, who stroked a 48-ball 57, was happy to have got a decent hit, after he had little game-time during IPL 2021.

After a dominant batting display against England in their first T20 World Cup warm-up match, India eased past Australia by nine-wickets in their second tie at Dubai’s ICC Academy Ground on Wednesday. Chasing 153, Rohit Sharma scored an unbeaten 41-ball 60, before retiring himself, with KL Rahul (39 off 31), Suryakumar Yadav (38* off 27), and Hardik Pandya (14* off 8), getting a decent hit.

Earlier, Ravichandran Ashwin (2/8 in two overs), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Rahul Chahar excelled with the ball, as India restricted Australia to 152/5.

Steve Smith, who top-scored with a 48-ball 57, marked India as the favourites going into the tournament.

“They’re a terrific side, they’ve got all bases covered and some serious match-winners in there,” Smith said of India.

“They’ve obviously been playing in these conditions during the last couple of months with the IPL so they’ll be used to that.”

Smith, who featured in just two matches during the second leg of the recently concluded IPL 2021, was pleased to have got a decent hit ahead of the tournament. Smith added 61 and 86 with Glenn Maxwell and Marcus Stoinis respectively after Australia were reduced to 11/3 in the fourth over.

“It was nice to spend a bit of time in the middle again,” Smith said. “It’s never easy when you’re three down. You have to rebuild for a period there and I thought we did that pretty well. The partnerships with Stoin and Maxi were obviously important.

“I feel good and ready to go now.

“I haven’t obviously played too many games with the IPL but I’ve spent a lot of time in the nets and getting used to the conditions, which has been nice.”

Australia will play South Africa in the first match of the Super-12 round in Abu Dhabi on Saturday, October 23.

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