2023 is a huge year for ODI cricket as the biggest event of the year is set to take pace in October and November. India is set to host the 50 over world cup and there is a lot of pressure on the Men in Blue. The pressure is the same as in 2011 when MS Dhoni was the captain of the side. India went on to win the big prize breaking the 28 year old wait as they beat Sri Lanka in the final on 2nd April, 2011.
The story as it happened –
Former Indian captain turned commentator, Sunil Gavaskar was part of a small panel for Star Sports India. The panel also included for Indian spin legend, Harbhajan Singh as they discussed the top 4 teams that could be part of the Semi-Finals for the tournament. The panel also included former Indian skipper and BCCI chief, Sourav Ganguly and former Australian opener Matthew Hayden.
Sunil Gavaskar doesn’t rank India as favorites –
Star Sports India as the 4 esteemed panelists, their likely semi finalist for the 50 Over World Cup 2023. Sunil Gavaskar stunned everyone by leaving out India as one of the favorite teams. Gavaskar said “How many did you say- two or three? Australia, England and Pakistan”
Harbhajan Singh names his pick –
Former Indian spin legend, Harbhajan Singh, had played a huge role in the 2011 title win at home. The 43 year old former Indian off spinner named India as one of the semi-finalists. Harbhajan Singh said “For me, because it is a pressure tournament, if I choose three teams it will be England, Australia and India. I feel these three teams can be the contenders for the tournament. Because this tournament is in India, I will not underrate India”
Sourav Ganguly backs his former teammate’s views –
2003 was the year when India went all the way to the world cup finals against Australia. Sourav Ganguly who was the captain of that Indian side backed the Rohit Sharma led side to do well. Ganguly while speaking to Star Sports India said “I also have the same three (as Harbhajan). Give me four- I will keep Pakistan as the 4th. So England, Australia, India and Pakistan”
Matthew Hayden rounds off with his picks –
Two time world cup winner in 2003 and 2007, Matthew Hayden was part of the Ricky Ponting all conquering Australian side. In fact, Hayden has never lost a game in the world cup. Matthew Hayden as on several occasions been the batting consultant for the Pakistan cricket team in the 2021 and 2022 T20 World Cups.
Hayden while airing his views on Star Sports India said “I really believe that Pakistan, India and Australia will be in that final three. England should be there because of their power hitting and the fact that they are also really good in their championship playing”
India’s schedule for the world cup 2023 –
The ICC released the schedule for ICC world cup 2023 and the Indian team and its fans were waiting with bated breath for the schedule.
India vs Australia -8th October-Chennai
India vs Afghanistan – 11th October – New Delhi
India vs Pakistan -15th October- Ahmedabad
India vs Bangladesh – 19th October- Pune
India vs New Zealand – 22nd October- Dharamshala
India vs England – 29th October- Lucknow
India vs Qualifier – 2nd November- Mumbai
India vs South Africa – 5th November- Kolkata
India vs Qualifier – 11th November- Bengaluru