In India, everybody has an opinion on cricket. And if the subject is the Indian cricket team, then the opinions increase manifold. With the announcement of the Indian team’s Cricket World Cup 2023 squad, opinions have flown thick about the team combination. The topic of discussion has mostly surrounded the Indian cricket team, which as hosts are among the favourites to go the distance. Sunil Gavaskar, former Indian cricket team captain and 1983 Cricket World Cup winner, is irked by foreign experts giving their opinion on the Indian team combination.
The triggering point to Gavaskar’s outburst was a question about how former Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chief Najam Sethi indicated, in a post on X (formerly Twitter), that India are afraid to play Pakistan.
“If you see the statements that come out from their side…sadly our media gives them the prominence. We have Pakistan players, and Australian players selecting Indian team. How is it their concern? Do any Indian players go and select the Australian or the Pakistan team? It’s none of our business. But we allow that,” Sunil Gavaskar said on Sports Today.
“From there it’s always Babar is better than Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma; Shaheen Afridi is better than so and so. Inzamam-ul-haq is better than Sachin Tendulkar. For them, they are always better than us. That is the way they have to cater to their audience.”
On the Indian cricket team getting extreme ‘focus’ from overseas experts, Sunil Gavaskar has an interesting logic.
“Don’t give them space in your papers. You have a South Africa saying a player should be in your team. You have an Australian saying. It happens too often. They say who should bat at no. 3 or no. 4. C’mon, we don’t need your advice,” Sunil Gavaskar said.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya has been appointed as Rohit Sharma’s deputy as India announced their 15-member squad for the ODI World Cup 2023 on Tuesday. While India have gone ahead with KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer, who have just returned from injuries, Sanju Samson and Tilak Varma were left out. India have gone with three left-arm spinners while three specialist pacers have been picked.
India’s World Cup 2023 squad: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav