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Players like Kohli, Rohit will play a massive role in World cup: Gautam Gambhir

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Kolkata: The year 2023 will see the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup take centre stage and teams around the world are in full preparation for the road ahead.

The significance of the biggest prize in world cricket will see Team India take on some of the biggest competitors in the ODI format of the sport in a bilateral series, as part of their Road to World Cup. These series will be of crucial importance to the team as well as to the selectors as they try to find the best playing 15 for the World Cup.

Speaking exclusively on Star Sports show ‘Road to World Cup Glory’, former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir spoke on how the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup squad has to be selected in terms of India’s approach and template in the 50-over format of the game.

He said, “First, you need to identify the players who got that fearless approach and probably in a format like 50 overs you need to have a mixture of every kind of player. There are players who can anchor their innings. Change in role has also made a huge difference. During that time we had only one new ball, now we’ve got two new balls with five fielders inside. So, the role of a part timer has gone out of the window.”

“The reverse swings, you don’t see enough of reverse swings anymore, you don’t see enough of chase for the finger spinners as well. But, I always feel that when we talk about this new approach, which India always talks about, the template and stuff, you’ve got to identify players who can adapt those roles or that template very easily,” he said.

“Some people just cannot adapt to that template so why push them to play in a certain way which doesn’t come naturally to them. So, for me, I think identifying players and at the same time getting the right mix is very important, rather than thinking that we have to play at a certain template so we got to select all the 15 with a similar mind-set or with a similar template. I feel people like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and all those guys who can anchor their innings, who probably can play spin really well will play a massive role the coming World Cup,” Gambhir said.

Gambhir further spoke on what format the Indian cricketers should focus on in the year 2023, keeping the ODI World Cup in mind, he said, “This year ODI for sure. If they want to take a break, people who play more than three formats, they can definitely take a break from T20 cricket, but surely not from the ODI format. They got to play together.”

“I think the biggest mistake that Indian cricket has made in the last two World Cups has been that these guys have not played enough of cricket together. Tell me how many times have we got the best playing 11 on the park? We haven’t, only during the World Cup we decided to have the best playing 11, but unfortunately that was never the best playing 11. So these guys have to play enough of white ball cricket, especially for the 50 overs World Cup together irrespective whether they want to take a break from the T20 or from the IPL. But the break has to happen in the T20 format and not the 50 overs. If the franchisee has to suffer they have to suffer,” Gambhir said.

“Indian cricket is the main stake holder, not the IPL. IPL is just the by product. So, if India goes out and wins the World Cup, that is the bigger ovation, that is the bigger ring. For example, if an important player does miss the IPL games so be it, because IPL happens every year and the World Cup happens only once in four years. So, for me I think winning the World Cup is far more important than winning the IPL,” he added.

Former captain of the Indian cricket team and former Chairman of the selection committee – Krishnamachari Srikkanth spoke on how the chairman of the selection committee should approach the squad selection for the ICC Men’s ODI World Cup.

He said, “I think in my opinion, by the time the Australia series is over, plan, this is going to be my best team. If I was chairman of the selection committee, I would say, this is my 15, look at the form in the IPL, and then make some probably minor changes. I can’t wait till the Asia Cup and say “Man, after this Asia Cup I’ll select the team”, no way. ”

“As soon as the Australia series is over, we have to communicate that you guys are going to play the World Cup, come on, do well in the IPL, keep your form there, make sure your fitness is fantastic, keep going and that will be the team. That’s what I would do if I was the chairman of the selection committee,” Srikkanth added.

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