Lara warns of Windies threat but says India have edge

Dubai, Feb 2 (IANS) Batting legend Brian Lara has tipped India to win the Twenty20 World Cup but says the West Indies can be a threat if they can avoid the inconsistency that has plagued them in the past.

While the West Indies will be packed with all their international stars after selecting a strong squad last week, Lara said India would enter the tournament with the edge because of home advantage, reports CMC.

“I think India will win in home conditions,” the former Test captain said following an outing at the Abu Dhabi Invitational golf pro-am here on Monday.

“Their players know the pitches and they’re playing good cricket against the best teams in the world at present in that version of the game. I would definitely give them top billing.”

“But I must talk about the West Indies. I hope they can pick the best possible team because if they do, every other nation will be worried,” he added.

The West Indies have selected the core of the side which stunned hosts Sri Lanka in the final of the 2012 Twenty20 World Cup two years ago in at the R. Premadasa Stadium.

The squad will be led again by all-rounder Darren Sammy and includes the likes of global superstar Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell – all familiar faces in the major T20 leagues across the world.

Lara believes once the side can gel and play consistent cricket, they would be genuine contenders at the March 8 to April 3 tournament.

“Chris Gayle, Darren Bravo or Kieron Pollard, all these guys when they come together, there’s a certain chemistry. I can tell they want to be together and pull together,” the 46-year-old pointed out.

“But on occasions, we know the West Indies can be very inconsistent. We can still have the best players and be out in the first round. You never know with the West Indies.”

The West Indies have been drawn in Group 1 alongside England, South Africa and Sri Lanka, along with a yet-to-be-determined qualifier.

They will undergo a preparation camp in Dubai later this month before flying to Kolkata for the two official warm-ups against Australia and India.

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