Ravi Shastri says India are favourites to win ODI World Cup in this year

India will have to bank on their youngsters too if they have to win the World Cup later this year which they will be hosting

The former India coach and cricketer Ravi Shastri has once again made a bold statement on the lines of this usual talk that the Indian cricket team is favourite to win the World Cup this year which will be hosted in the months of October and November 2023. 

With the ICC yet to announce the schedule for the upcoming 50 over World Cup which India will be hosting, Ravi Shastri is confident India will not face much difficulty in lifting their title for the third time, having earlier won the 50 over World Cup in the years 1983 and 2011.

It will be a massive challenge for the Indian cricket team to win the upcoming 2023 World Cup which they will be hosting as they have not won a single ICC event for the last 10 years. After winning the 2011 World Cup under Mahendra Singh Dhoni, India won the champions trophy in 2013 was the last ever such a victory in an ICC event.

The former India player and coach was quoted as saying by The Week,

”They are playing at home. I think they are one of the favourites. I am telling you now; I think they can win this one. Provided they get the right balance of experience and youth. And there is enough time to identify the squad that you want. And if you get your full-strength side, I think India are favourites, with England and Australia.”

The former India coach is of the opinion that Indian team should think about having to left-handed batsmen in the top six orders in limited-overs cricket, something that remains to be seen if it can be fulfilled since Rishabh Pant is out of action for a long time now and there is no certain date of a return to international cricket. 

“You need to strike the right balance. Do you think a left-hander will make a difference at the top? It does not have to be opening, but in the top three or four. You have to weigh all those options. Ideally, in the top six, I would like to see two left-handers,” said the former cricketer who is also a very famous commentator. 

“You have Ishan Kishan. In the wicketkeeping department, you have Sanju [Samson]. But the left-handers, you have [Yashasvi] Jaiswal, Tilak Varma. There is enough left-handed talent that can replace any senior player at the moment.”

Ravi Shastri also praised India’s young talent which was seen making impressive performances in the IPL which has played from March to May this year.

“There are so many youngsters. There is Jaiswal and, I might miss out a few here, Tilak Varma, Nehal Wadhera. There is [Sai] Sudharsan, who played so well in the [IPL] final. There is Jitesh Sharma,”

he said.

“Among the bowlers, there is a crop of young fast bowlers. Quite a few, there is Mukesh [Kumar], names do not come to my mind now. But, there are at least four or five who can be groomed around that 135kmph-140kmph mark. So I am not worried about the talent in white-ball.

Ravi Shastri said India should look to maintain a pool of 15 to 20 bowlers given that their fast bowlers are prone to injuries and there are examples of key bowlers like Jasprit Bumrah who have missed cricket at a stretch since they have not been fit enough. “You have a lot of injuries these days. I always like a pool of 15-20. You should always be prepared, you should have a plan B, plan C.”

Sanju Samson has been selected in the Indian team for the three match ODI series against the West Indies after the completion of the test series and Ravi Shastri believes that it is an opportunity for the wicket-keeper batsman, who is also the captain of IPL team Rajasthan Royals, to prove himself once again at the biggest level in cricket.

“There is Sanju [Samson], who I believe is yet to realise his potential. He is a match-winner. There is something that is missing. I will be disappointed if he does not finish his career all guns blazing. It is like when I was the coach, I would have been disappointed if Rohit Sharma had not played in my side as a regular Test player. Hence, his opening the batting. I feel similar with Sanju,”

he said.