In preparation for the upcoming ODI World Cup, India’s head coach, Rahul Dravid, made the decision to rest Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli for the first two ODIs against Australia. This decision was taken to ensure that these senior players are mentally fresh for the World Cup. Dravid emphasized that such decisions are made in consultation with the players themselves, taking into account their routines and preparations.
The opening two ODIs will also see Hardik Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav getting a break, but they will return for the third ODI in Rajkot. Unfortunately, Axar Patel will be missing due to a left quadriceps strain. This provides opportunities for players like Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer to prove themselves and boost their confidence.
Dravid expressed confidence in Suryakumar Yadav’s abilities and assured that he would start the first two ODIs at No. 6. He emphasized the impact Suryakumar can have on the game and his potential to change its course. Ishan Kishan is expected to partner Shubman Gill at the top of the order in the absence of Rohit Sharma.
Rahul Dravid makes an exclusive statement: “With people like Virat and Rohit specifically, from our perspective, it’s really important that we get them to that first game of the World Cup, physically and mentally in the space that they want to be in. At this level, with the amount of cricket that they’ve played, they know how they need to prepare themselves. A lot of these decisions are made in discussion in them – all our players, not only the two of them.”
“But certainly, the senior and the more experienced guys kind of have their routines and know what they need to do to get into that first game just in the right frame of mind,” Dravid mentioned the importance of giving players game time in positions they might play in during the World Cup.
Team India are expected to give a tough fight to Australia
Ishan Kishan’s versatility, as both a middle-order batsman and wicketkeeper, makes him a valuable addition to the team. Ishan Kishan’s role as a potential opener adds flexibility to the batting lineup, giving the team options depending on the match situation.
This adaptability can be a valuable asset in a tournament like the World Cup, where conditions and situations can vary significantly. Rahul Dravid’s assurance and backing of Suryakumar Yadav send a positive message to the young cricketer, reinforcing the team’s belief in his abilities.
This kind of support and encouragement can help players thrive and contribute more effectively to the team’s success. As India prepares for the ODI World Cup, these early decisions and experiments can play a pivotal role in shaping the team’s strategy and readiness for the tournament.
The focus on player well-being, flexibility in team composition, and nurturing young talents indicate a well-thought-out approach aimed at success on the global stage.
India’s squad for the first two ODIs: KL Rahul, Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Mohammad Shami, Tilak Varma, Prasidh Krishna, Ravichandran Ashwin, and Washington Sundar.
For the third ODI: Rohit Sharma, Hardik Pandya, Virat Kohli, and Kuldeep Yadav will make their return if fit, and Axar Patel’s inclusion depends on his fitness.