Gautam Gambhir: If you want to win the World Cup, then you have to beat Australia
Former Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir doesn’t care much about the ranking in the ICC charts while he feels that for India to succeed in their goal of winning the ODI World Cup this year, they would need to defeat Australia, who has a strong track record in ICC tournaments.
The Indian cricket team may be ranked No. 1 in the world across all formats, but former Indian batsman Gautam Gambhir doesn’t care much about their ranking in the ICC charts.
Gambhir feels that for India to succeed in their goal of winning the ODI World Cup this year, they would need to defeat Australia, which has a strong track record in ICC tournaments.
Australia starts as one of the favorites because they are the most successful team in 50-over World Cup history. However, Gambhir is hopeful the Indian team can get the better of them.
Speaking in a special show of Star Sports ‘Mission World Cup’, 2011 Cricket World Cup champion Gambhir emphasized how crucial it was to win the competition by defeating Australia.
“Look, I have always said this, and there is no doubt in this, that if you want to win the World Cup, then you have to beat Australia. In 2007 when we won the World Cup, we defeated Australia in the semifinal. In 2011 when we won the World Cup, we beat Australia in the quarterfinal. Australia is the strongest team in any ICC tournament. Remove the ranking, the ranking does not matter,”he added.
Australia is the most successful winning side in terms of country-wise winners, having claimed the ICC ODI World Cup title five times. In the World Cup champions’ cricket ODI, West Indies and India will come after them.
Each of these teams has taken home the title twice. The last World Cup tournament, which took place in 2019, was won by England, who also holds the trophy’s title.
“You can be in any position in the rankings, but Australia, when it comes to those big tournaments, the World Cups, I think Australia has got the players, they have got the self-belief, Australia can play those big moments well. And you can see this, the two World Cups that India won, we had to beat Australia in the knockout stage two times. And the World Cups that we have lost, in 2015 we lost to Australia. So I believe that if we have to win the World Cup this year, Australia is going to be the most important game, and we start against Australia, so there is nothing better than that. So beating Australia is very, very important,”Gambhir further said.
Shane Watson, a former Australian batter, also discussed who he believes will make it to the 2023 ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup finals.
“Definitely going to back Australia with the caliber of players they have. They have got a few question marks going into this World Cup, for sure, with a few positions and some injuries they have had, but the players they have got, certainly know how to step up in these big games. And India, being at home, they’d know the conditions better than anyone, their bowlers are obviously on fire at the moment, with their quicks and also Kuldeep Yadav who is only getting better and better. So India with their firepower, especially with their top order in particular, certainly can go all the way. So for me, Australia and India would be an incredible final,”said Watson.
India’s final assignment at home before the World Cup will be a three-match ODI series against Australia, with the first game taking place on Friday.
They will then play warm-up matches against England on September 30 and the Netherlands on October 3 before the World Cup. The World Cup campaign for India would thus begin on October 8 in Chennai against Australia.
India squad for first 2 ODIs: KL Rahul (Captain & Wicket Keeper), Ravindra Jadeja (Vice-captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna
India squad for final ODI: Rohit Sharma (C), Hardik Pandya, (Vice-captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul (wicketkeeper), Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Axar Patel (subject to fitness), Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, R Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj.India squad for World Cup 2023: Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Axar Patel, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav.