South Africa batting great AB de Villiers has reckoned that Team India has a strong squad for the Men’s ODI World Cup starting next month however, he felt that playing at home would create enormous pressure on the Men In Blue.
India are the 1983 and 2011 champions and will begin its 2023 Men’s ODI World Cup campaign against Australia on October 8 in Chennai.
“I think India’s squad is incredible, really, really strong. Captain Rohit, Hardik Pandya (is the) vice-captain. The only worry I have for India is playing at home. Last time they played in India, they won. There will be huge pressure. That’s the only big obstacle in my opinion,” said de Villiers on his YouTube channel.
At the same time, de Villiers felt that if the Rohit Sharma-led side manages to control the expectations around them, then they can go a long way in the showpiece event.
“But go fearless. And that is exactly the word I’m talking about. Forget about the pressure of the nation, that’s something you can’t control. Control what you can control. Fearless is the word I’m looking for in the Indian squad. If they can do that, they’ll go a long way and most probably lift that trophy,” he expressed.
De Villiers also said that T20I batting maverick Suryakumar Yadav needs only a tiny mindset switch to crack the ODI batting code as his average looks very average at 24.33.
“I am very relieved to see SKY in the World Cup squad, I’m very happy about it. You guys know I’m a big fan (of Suryakumar). He plays in a similar manner to how I used to play, but in ODIs, he hasn’t cracked it yet. It is a tiny little mind switch that he’s got to make, and he’s got all the ability and capabilities that he needs to do that. I hope he gets this opportunity in this World Cup. I’m not sure (if that will happen) yet. Looking at the balance of the Indian squad, he might not start. But the World Cup is a long tournament. So let’s see what happens then,” de Villers said.
After the Asia Cup, India will host Australia for three ODIs between September 22 and 27.
The Men In Blue will then play warm-up games against England and the Netherlands on September 30 and October 3 respectively, before kicking-off their Men’s ODI World Cup campaign.