Pressure of expectation negates India''s home advantage: Kallis

Written by: Pti
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New Delhi, Feb 22 (PTI) Perennial chokers they might bebut South Africa all-rounder Jacques Kallis feels there isnothing called favourites in a big event like the World Cupand the huge pressure of expectation will nullify India''s homeadvantage in the ongoing tournament.

Kallis said in World Cup no side can afford to take itsopponent lightly, and the team which handles pressure atcrunch situations, will run away with the coveted trophy.

"I don''t any team starts as favorites at the moment. Alot of people are talking about India but we know how hard itis to play under pressure at home. That probably negates theirhome advantage," the 35-year-old all-rounder told reportersduring their practice session at the Feroze Shah Kotla heretoday.

"Ultimately it boils down to how you play in the groupstage and once you reach the quarterfinals, semifinals, finalanything can happen. I think all the teams are evenly matched.

The team which plays the best game under pressure will comeout on top," he added.

Asked about the chokers tag associated with the Proteasin ICC tournaments, Kallis said, "A lot is being made in themedia about the chokers tag. But we players don''t even thinkabout it.

"Everytime the team loses people say the team has choked.

But it is certainly not something which haunt us. We have ayoung team, 11 out of the 15 have never played in a World Cup.

So it doesn''t bother us. We are just worried about playinggood cricket."

Kallis, who is the numero uno all-rounder in ODI cricketwith 11,002 runs and 259 wickets, said he has completelyrecovered from his rib injury and will feature in the openingclash against the West Indies here on Thursday.

"So far everything is going according to plan. I havebeen bowling for about an week. I am 100 per cent fit for thematch.

"In fact, most of the guys are in good condition, raringto go. The good thing is that we have all the 15 to pickfrom," he said.

Although South Africa boast of a good record against WestIndies in recent times, the right-hander said the match isevenly-balanced and the Proteas need to be on top of theirgame on Thursday.

"They are a dangerous side. They have got a few playerswho can change the game. We need to be on the top our game.

You can''t take any side lightly because one bad result againstyou can put pressure," Kallis said. .

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