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Opinion: Is Team India prepared for ODI World Cup?

Team India is known as a group of the most talented cricketers in the world and players who can change the course of the game at any point in time. Men in Blue has dominated international cricket for a long time and the country is known for the quality of its players. 

The Indian cricket team has produced many legendary cricketers over the years, including Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Kapil Dev, and the legendary skipper MS Dhoni. Currently, some of the prominent players in the team include Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Cheteshwar Pujara, Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah, and Rishabh Pant.

However, even after having so much of a talent pool, team India has missed out on ICC trophies for almost a decade. The team is known for its passion for the sport but they have constantly failed to lift some of the most prestigious trophies in international cricket.

After their disappointing loss in the WTC Final, team India has another tournament to get prepared for. The ODI World Cup is scheduled to take place this year and it will be happening at the home ground. It was in 2011, under the leadership of MS Dhoni, team India won their second World Cup after 28 years. 

The biggest question which Indian cricket fans are asking right now is can team India lift the trophy this year? Are Men in Blue fully prepared for the tournament? The top bookmakers in India have cricket odds with them.

The declining depth of the Batting Lineup

Indian sub-continent is known to produce some of the best batsmen in the world. Currently, we have ferocious batters like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and Shubman Gill. However, skipper Rohit Sharma is struggling with his form for more than a year. He has failed to perform in all the formats of the game. 

One of the greatest batters of his generation, Virat Kohli, has regained his form but has failed to make an impact in major ICC Tournaments. Shubman Gill is the new boy in the town, from whom BCCI and Indian cricket fans have high expectations but Gill is not trained to handle the pressure of a tournament like the ODI World Cup.

In the middle order, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, and Shreyas Iyer have shown their class in the past but all three of them are out of action because of their respective injuries. Rishabh Pant was already struggling with his form before his accident in December 2022. 

KL Rahul has also shown a major dip in his performance before his injury during the IPL tournament. Shreyas Iyer is the only player who has shown positive signs and will be returning with positivity in his mind. Suryakumar Yadav has shown some positive signs in ODI but he has only performed well against teams like Zimbabwe and Afghanistan.

The Dilemma of Pace Attack

The primary Indian pacer is absent from the team for almost a year and there is no update on Bumrah’s return yet. Since his absence, team India has struggled with their pace attack and the selectors have tried different combinations in the ODI format for positive results. 

In the absence of Bumrah, the pressure of the pace attack is on Mohammad Shami and he has done a brilliant job in the last year. However, skipper Rohit Sharma can’t be dependent on only one pacer for the entire tournament. Mohammed Siraj and Shardul Thakur have shown inconsistency in their form when it comes to the limited-over format.

Is Team India prepared for the ODI World Cup 2023?

There are a lot of loopholes in the squad which skipper Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid will have to highlight to the selectors. To make sure the team gives the best result in the World Cup, selectors will have to make some tough decisions. 

Another important thing that BCCI and the selection committee will have to do is to stop playing musical chairs with the selection of players and focus on building team harmony. To win an ICC trophy, we need a team who know each other very well and don’t have the insecurity of losing their spot in the team.

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