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first_imgAn immensely confident Virender Sehwag on Tuesday declared that India would be the favourite to win the World Cup early next year, saying the home factor would be a big advantage to the team. If that happens, India will become the first ever home side to clinch the World Cup.Viru feels the Indian cricket team will have more home advantage than others.Since the inception of the World Cup in 1975, in 35 years, no host nation has won the title. But the everpositive Sehwag reasoned that despite what some people might feel about hosting the Indian Premier League (IPL) having “reduced” India’s “home advantage”, the team will still enjoy more benefit than the other teams.”It’s a benefit that we are playing in India since childhood. We know how the wickets behave and what the advantages are at all centres. We will surely get the benefit, but there are some other teams that are regularly visiting India and getting used to the conditions. The task will be difficult, but the Indian team will be the favourite,” the India vice-captain announced.Sehwag did not agree with some people, like South Africa coach Corrie van Zyl, who feels that the hosting of the IPL has diminished India’s home advantage as foreign players now know the conditions well.”We are playing here more often than the foreign players-since our childhood. We play in the under-19 category, firstclass (level) and then for India. We play a lot more series in India, so we are more used to the conditions here,” he said, after unveiling 12 commemorative models of Timex watches, the official product licensee of the World Cup.advertisement”If you see, India have recently played more matches in the subcontinent than the other countries. So, we will have more benefit. Yes, it’s true that foreign players in the IPL have adjusted well to the conditions, but it is difficult to adjust as a team.” The 31-year-old dashing opener stressed that the team would not spare any effort to break the World Cup home jinx.”We will surely try, but we can’t say we will definitely win. What we can do is to make our best effort. Win or loss depends on which team plays well on a particular day. But we will surely make more than 100 percent effort and win the World Cup,” he assured.Sehwag is pleased with his current form in all forms of the game, having helped India draw the three-match Test series in Sri Lanka. He was adjudged the man of the series.In the ODI tri-series, too, he was named the man of the series.”I would love to extend this form to the World Cup. You never know, sometimes you score runs, sometimes you don’t-and sometimes people praise you and sometimes criticise you. But the way I am batting at the moment I am confident,” said the right-hander who was the highest scorer for India in the 2003 World Cup final against Australia.Sehwag will get another chance to test the Australians in the two-Test series beginning in Mohali on October 1.”India’s preparation for the World Cup is starting from the Australia series. I am looking forward to that,” he said.He, however, clarified that he doesn’t play for records, though Sehwag’s coach Amar Nath Sharma feels that if his bestknown ward bats for full 50 overs in an ODI he can break Sachin Tendulkar’s world record of the highest innings, 200 not out.”There are so many players who can break the record if they play full 50 overs. But we are not playing for records; we play to perform and to try and win games. I try to score and win games for the country,” he said.last_img read more