Akshay Kumar, Sushant Singh Rajput share their World Cup plans


Cricket is inarguably the most popular sport in India. And as the country eagerly waits for the ICC Cricket World Cup to commence tomorrow (February 14), and India’s campaign to begin on February 15 (against Pakistan), B-Town is preparing to support the team and their favourite players.

We caught up with five cricket enthusiasts from Bollywood to know about their preparations for the game.

Sidharth Malhotra
Preparation for the World Cup
: I will watch the matches either at home with friends, on my smartphone, or on the TV in the vanity van.
Dream final: India-Australia. Watching India take sweet revenge (Australia defeated India in the finals of the 2003 World Cup) by beating them in a similar manner would be lovely.
Players to look out for: Rohit Sharma (India), as he is in great form. Also, Virat Kohli is one to look out for. I like David Warner (Australia), as he is an explosive batsman. I am also looking forward to Mitchell Starc (Australia) for his sheer pace and accuracy. Also, AB de Villiers for his unstoppable batting.
A superstition you believe in: When the Indian team takes a wicket, we don’t change our seating positions in order to not jinx it (laughs).

Akshay Kumar
Preparation for the World Cup:
Even if I don’t ask anyone, I will get to know the score updates from people around me. And when I am travelling, the apps on my iPhone and iPad will come in handy.
Dream final: As a proud Indian, I’d say India and England. I strongly feel, no matter what, India will always relish beating the creators of our nation’s favourite sport.
Players to look out for: AB de Villiers (South Africa) is amazing in big tournaments. Hashim Amla (South Africa) is the man of the moment. David Warner (Australia) is good as well, as he is one of the most impressive batsmen at the moment. I also like Virat Kohli (India), as he brings new-age thinking to the game. And Mitchell Johnson (Australia), who, I feel, bowls for his life and not just for his team.
A superstition you believe in: I believe in praying for athletes’ safety, not for their win. Greedy prayers go unanswered.

Sushant Singh Rajput
Preparation for the World Cup:
I have installed a big TV in my theatre room to watch the World Cup with my friends. But since I will be travelling a lot, I will use my iPad and iPhone to keep track of the matches.
Dream final: Undoubtedly, India-Pakistan. I’ve always wondered what it would be like to watch the arch rivals competing for the title at cricket’s biggest platform.
Players to look out for: In no particular order, AB de Villiers for his dominance, Trent Boult (New Zealand) for his blistering speed, Steven Smith (Australia) for his understanding of the game, and Yasir Shah (Pakistan) and Rohit Sharma (India) for their class.
A superstition you believe in: It’s not exactly a superstition, but every time there is a big match, I wear an Indian team jersey. I even wear them to meetings.

Ayushmann Khurrana
Preparation for the World Cup:
For me, it’ll be tough to catch all the matches because I’ll be busy promoting my next. Plus, I’ve my live concerts lined up. If I can watch the matches, it will be in the hotel rooms when I get time.
Dream final: Since I’m rooting for India. India vs Pakistan could be the dream final, quite obviously.
Players to look out for: Virat Kohli, he’s the new Indian batting maestro. AB de Villiers is the most-gifted sportsperson. Chris Gayle, can single-handedly change the course of the game, while David Warner has an impulsive, flamboyant demeanour. And it would be interesting to see how Mahendra Singh Dhoni handles an out-of-form bunch of defending champions.
A superstition you believe in: As kids, my brother Aparshakti and I used to sit with a bat and ball during matches. It would create a lot of excitement. We used to start playing in the living room itself while watching the match live

Aditya Roy Kapur
Preparation for the World Cup:
I will be shooting for my next, but I will catch up on the game during the breaks. If I’m in Mumbai, my friends have already reserved my house like a hotel since I have a big-screen projector, to which they all have laid claim.
Dream final: I want to see a India-Pakistan final. Of course, we know who will win that one. Inspite of their recent form, I think team India will win.
Players to look out for: AB de Villiers can single-handedly win a match for his team. Virat Kohli could be India’s biggest trump card. Mitchell Johnson, he is possibly the world’s best left-arm pacer. Steven Smith has a very sharp brain and MS Dhoni, who is one of the most intelligent and destructive players of modern-day cricket.
A superstition you believe in: My superstition is that when things are going well, do not change positions – no matter what. It becomes tough sometimes, but I’m a little picky about this one.

Tracking WAGS
Anushka Sharma:
Virat Kohli’s girlfriend, who is busy with her back-to-back film releases, is unlikely to visit Australia. She has the release of her first home production in March.

Sakshi Dhoni: Indian cricket team’s captain MS Dhoni’s wife has recently given birth to a baby girl. So, it’s highly unlikely that she will travel for the World Cup.

Ayesha Mukherjee: An amateur kick-boxer, Shikhar Dhawan’s wife is likely to be around to watch the Indian team – and her husband – play.

Mayanti Langer: Indian cricketer Stuart Binny’s wife, a former model and TV personality, is already in Australia, and will be seen covering the World Cup as part of a sports channel’s crew.