Don''t feel pressure; just enjoy cricket: Gilly to India team

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Sabi Hussain

New Delhi, Feb 2 (PTI) Terming India as one of thefavourites to lift the World Cup, former Australianwicketkeeper-batsman Adam Gilchrist today cautioned theco-hosts not to get bogged down by the weight of expectations,instead enjoy playing in front of the home crowd.

Gilchrist said if Mahendra Singh Dhoni''s men play theirnatural game, they can go a long distance in the mega-event,starting from February 19 to be jointly hosted by India, SriLanka and Bangladesh.

"Pressure of expectations will be very high and it woulddepend on the players and management how they deal with it. Ifthe Indians just focus on cricket and forget everything else,they will have a good chance. They are one of the favourites,"said Gilchrist, who would be captaining the Kings XI Punjab inthe fourth edition of the Indian Premier League.

The former Aussie, however added that other sub-continentteams like Sri Lanka and Pakistan would also be fancying theirchances.

Gilchrist also said that despite Australia''s forgettableAshes series, which they lost 1-3 to England at home, they canstill be considered as strong contenders for winning theirfourth successive World Cup title.

"Australia also have a good chance to win the World Cup.

They can do it," he said.

Australia have been laid low by injury concerns to someof their key players including skipper Ricky Ponting, MichaelHussey, Shaun Tait and Nathan Hauritz but Gilchrist expressedconfidence that the team would be able to deal with thesituation.

"There have been injury concerns earlier also but theAustralian team had faced it accordingly. It depends on theteam management what final combination they come out with. Ihope that these players get fit before the World Cup," aveteran of 96 Tests and 287 ODIs, said.

On whether the Australian national selectors have made awrong choice by naming Ponting as the skipper for the WorldCup instead of Michael Clarke, Gilchrist warned againstdoubting Ponting''s abilities and insisted that the regularskipper was the right candidate to lead the side.

"Clarke has done a wonderful job as a captain. He is agreat player. But you can''t underestimate Ricky Ponting''sabilities. He is such a wonderful player and leader. Pontinghas captained the side in the previous two World Cups and heknows exactly what it takes to be at that level. He has beenthere. He is right candidate to lead the side," he said. PTISHN CM

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