Ahead of the 2023 World Cup, former cricketer Wasim Akram provides a reality check to India’s captain Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid. While India’s chances of winning the ICC trophy on home soil seem promising, Akram reminds them of the added pressure that comes with being the host nation.
India’s past performances in the 2015 and 2019 World Cups were remarkable, but they faced heartbreak in the semifinals of both editions. This time, Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid have a golden opportunity to lead Indian cricket to new heights and erase the painful memories of previous campaigns.
Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid receive a word of caution from Wasim Akram
He acknowledges India’s strong bowling lineup, especially with the impressive Mohammed Shami, but highlights the significance of Jasprit Bumrah’s fitness. Bumrah’s presence could make a huge difference for India in the tournament. Moreover, India has skillful spinners and all-rounders like Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin, but careful team selections are essential.
The India-Pakistan clash at the Narendra Modi Stadium is a highly anticipated match and brings even more pressure on the host nation. Akram emphasizes that both India and Pakistan would experience added pressure if they were the hosts, making the game even more intense. On the other hand, Akram believes venues should be the least of Pakistan’s concerns.
The initial schedule released by the ICC had Pakistan playing all their matches across four venues, while India would be travelling to nine different cities for their matches. The PCB was initially reluctant with the scheduled draft and requested a couple of venue changes.
As Pakistan mulls their World Cup participation, Akram advises them not to worry about venues and focus on giving their best performance on the field, regardless of where the matches take place.
Ultimately, both India and Pakistan have their challenges and opportunities heading into the World Cup. India, as the host nation, has the advantage of home support but must handle the added pressure.
Meanwhile, Pakistan needs to focus on playing their best cricket, regardless of the venues, to make a mark in the tournament. The 2023 World Cup promises to be an exhilarating spectacle, with fans eagerly waiting to see which team will lift the coveted trophy at the end.