Don’t read into Australia loss, India remain World Cup contenders: Anil Kumble
Virat Kohli's team squandered a 2-0 advantage over Australia to lose 2-3. © AFP

Anil Kumble, the former India captain and coach, does not believe that Virat Kohli‘s team will be impacted much by the ODI series loss to Australia as it heads into the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, where he feels they remain a “strong contender”.

From being up 2-0, India lost three successive ODIs to squander the series lead and lose the contest 2-3 in what was their final international assignment before the World Cup. (READ: India concede series in pursuit of fringe benefits)

In Kumble’s estimation, even if India had beaten Australia the result should not have been valued that much owing to the gravity of the World Cup.

“I don’t think you can consider this series win or a loss in context to the World Cup because the World Cup is a totally different kettle of fish,” he told CricketNext. “It all depends on how you start off in the World Cup. This time the format is such where you play everyone and you get enough matches to get into the groove. You need to peak at the right time in the World Cup as well. (READ: Stop experimenting, bat MS Dhoni at No 4 in World Cup: Anil Kumble)

“So, I don’t want to read too much into what happened in the recent series against Australia. But there are some questions that need to be answered, which I’m sure the team would be confident about. I don’t see too many reasons for us to worry too much about the World Cup.”

India are ranked No 2 in ODI cricket and until the surprise defeat to Australia, had last lost a home series in 2015. Since then, their only ODI series loss had been in England last summer when they were beaten 1-2.

While he feels the team may be in denial about its middle-order batting problems, Kumble backed the team for the World Cup.

“India will still remain a strong contender in the World Cup because the format is such where you have enough matches for you to get your team going. I think the team is capable of winning the World Cup and this team certainly has all the credentials,” he said.