Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly wants Pakistan to qualify for the 2023 World Cup semi-finals to have them at the iconic Eden Gardens Stadium in Kolkata. The 51-year-old has named India and Pakistan among the favorites to reach the knockout stages of the tournament, beginning on October 5th with defending champions England facing New Zealand.
Pakistan are arguably among the most watch-out-for teams every year due their unpredictability. The Men in Green have won only one 50-over World Cup so far and will open their 2023 campaign against the Netherlands on October 6th in Hyderabad. Pakistan will face arch-rivals India on the 15th at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
When asked who among the four sides he backs to qualify for the 2023 World Cup semi-finals, Ganguly said during a chat with RevSportz:
"It’s very hard to say. Australia, England, India. You can never underestimate New Zealand in these big matches. I will pick five, and include Pakistan also. Pakistan better qualify so that we will have the India-Pakistan semi-final at the Eden Gardens."
Sourav Ganguly backs India to handle pressure of home World Cup:
With India under severe pressure to win their first ICC Trophy since 2013, the Prince of Kolkata stated that it never goes away and backs the hosts to play well.
"Pressure will always be there. When they played before also, there was pressure. Rohit Sharma has five centuries in the last ODI World Cup. I am sure there must have been pressure on him then also. Pressure is not a problem. I am sure they will find a way to succeed. During Rahul Dravid’s playing days, there was pressure to perform, and now that he is the head coach, there is pressure on him to deliver. That will not go away, and I don’t think pressure is an issue."
India will open their campaign against Australia on October 8th in Chennai.